de·bunk | \(ˌ)dē-ˈbəŋk \

Definition of debunk 

transitive verb

: to expose the sham (see sham entry 1 sense 2) or falseness of debunk a legend

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Other Words from debunk

debunker noun

Did You Know?

If you guessed that "debunk" has something to do with bunk, meaning "nonsense," you're correct. We started using "bunk" at the beginning of the 20th century. (It derives from a remark made by a Buncombe county, N.C., congressman.) A little less than 25 years later, "debunk" was first used in print for the act of taking the "bunk" out of something. There are plenty of synonyms for "debunk," including "disprove," "rebut," "refute," and the somewhat rarer "confute." Even "falsify" can mean "prove something false," in addition to "make something false." "Debunk" itself often suggests that something is not merely untrue, but also a sham; one can simply disprove a myth, but if it is "debunked," the implication is that it was a grossly exaggerated or foolish claim.

Examples of debunk in a Sentence

The article debunks the notion that life exists on Mars. The results of the study debunk his theory.

Recent Examples on the Web

German Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly debunked those claims. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "Vox Sentences: NATOhhh no...," 12 July 2018 Studies have also debunked the argument that abortions raise the risk of depression or breast cancer. NBC News, "Abortion in the U.S.: Five key facts," 5 July 2018 Slate quickly debunked by pointing out that the only people with those numbers are elite athletes. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "An Ode to Paul Ryan’s Commitment to Fitness," 11 Apr. 2018 However, Detective Sergeant Sarah Krebs of the Michigan State Police Missing Persons Unit later debunked the rumor. Brandon Patterson, Detroit Free Press, "Bones found beneath Post Bar in Dearborn are animal remains," 9 Apr. 2018 Newly released video bolstered written reports from officers who raced from casino to casino on the Las Vegas Strip debunking reports of multiple shooters and bomb threats. Washington Post, "Video shows Vegas police telling people to hide from gunfire," 13 June 2018 Ned Lamont set out to debunk the limousine liberal caricature that his rival Joe Ganim has been trying to paint for Democratic gubernatorial primary voters in Lamont’s televsion ad debut. Neil Vigdor,, "In TV Ad Debut, Ned Lamont Pledges To Forgo Salary, State Vehicle As Governor," 12 July 2018 This myth that Drake is less reckless and more chivalrous than rappers like, say, Future, needs to be debunked., "Can We Finally Admit Drake Isn't The "Good Guy" We Thought He Was?," 29 June 2018 In four countries — France, Ireland, Mexico and India — Facebook also has expanded a test that allows fact-checkers to debunk manipulated and out-of-context photos and videos. Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, "Rapidly expanding fact-checking movement faces growing pains," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'debunk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of debunk

1923, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near debunk

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Statistics for debunk

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for debunk

The first known use of debunk was in 1923

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English Language Learners Definition of debunk

: to show that something (such as a belief or theory) is not true : to show the falseness of (a story, idea, statement, etc.)

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Comments on debunk

What made you want to look up debunk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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