From Middle English withseien, from Old English wiþsecgan (“to speak against; to denounce, renounce, or deny”), corresponding to with- + say. Cognate with Old Saxon witharseggian, Low German wedderseggen, German widersagen, Dutch wederzeggen and weerzeggen.
- (heading, transitive) To speak against someone or something.
- To contradict or deny.
- To gainsay, to oppose in speech (and by extension writing).
- To forbid, to refuse to allow, give, or permit.
- To decline, to refuse to do or accept.
- c. 1670, ordinance in Collection of Ordinances of the Royal Household - 1327–1694 (1790), 372:
- 1900 (original version 1260), Jacobus (de Voragine), William Caxton, Frederick Startridge Ellis, The Golden Legend, Or, Lives of the Saints - Volume 4:
- I sent to them also martyrs, confessors, and doctors, and they accorded not to them, ne to their doctrine, but because it appertaineth not to me to withsay thy request, I shall give to them my preachers, by whom they may be enlumined and made clean, or else I shall come against them myself if they will not amend them.
- 2000, James Farl Powers, Morte D'Urban:
- He was mild to good men of God and stark beyond all bounds to those who withsaid his will.