negative pregnant

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A negative pregnant is the denial of some part of an allegation such that the denial is “pregnant” with the possibility that the allegation as a whole may still be true, except for that detail. In other words, an individual’s refusal to categorically deny the entirety of an allegation gives that individual’s denial an implied meaning that is closer to an admission that the allegation is mostly true.

For example, if a teenage defendant who is accused of theft by conversion of her friend’s lollipop and silver necklace on January 2, 2014 issues a denial stating, “I did not steal my friend’s silver necklace on January 2, 2014,” this denial is pregnant with the possibility that:

1) the defendant stole the silver necklace on another day, and/or that

2) the defendant did steal the lollipop on that day.

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]