Gainsay, a verb, means "contradict" or "speak out against." When you challenge authority, you gainsay, as in teachers don't like it when unruly students gainsay them.

  • Pronunciation: /,ɡen'se/
  • English Description: challenge (somebody) to make good on a statement; to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation
  • Chinese Translation: 反驳(fan3 bo2)
  • Spanish Translation: contradecir
  • STORY: Gainsay comes from an Old English word that means "contradict" or "say against," as in, no one dared gainsay the principal, who is well-known for giving detention to students who so much as frown at him. If you know someone who constantly corrects others, tells them that they're wrong, and says, "That's not true," more than anyone else, you have first-hand experience with the art of the gainsay.


  • A good deal has been done for the economy without gainsayingthe fact that a great deal more needs to be done.
  • For the consumers have spoken and who are the politicians togainsay them?.

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