From time to time I have seen my requests about miscellaneous services denied (as shown to me by text), and on Meta we have "status-declined" as a tag to bug reports and feature requests.

How is it different when people say a request has been denied or it has been declined? Is the opposites of those two words both approve?


If you check few dictionaries, you can see that deny and decline can be sometimes used as synonyms. In Goggle, you can see that "deny the request" is much more commonly used as "decline the request." This is contrary to what I would expect from the definitions of deny and decline, though.

Deny means "refuse to agree." (Dictionary.com)

I deny this accusation.

The opposite of deny would be agree.

Decline means "deny consent to do." (Dictionary.com).

We sent him an invitation but he declined.

The opposite of decline would be accept or approve.


There is a lot of overlap here, but there are subtle differences.

He denied my request

This suggests that he said no to your request, and that your request is therefone cancelled. Compare this to:

He declined my request

which suggest that he personally did not accept your request, but he did not irrevocably stop this request from being offered to (and accepted by) someone else.

For example:

I asked him if he wanted to meet up with me, but he declined my request. So I invited Tom instead.

I requested a new laptop, but my manager denied my request. I have to keep using my old laptop.

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