rebut

verb
re·​but | \ ri-ˈbət How to pronounce rebut (audio) \
rebutted; rebutting

Definition of rebut

transitive verb

1 : to drive or beat back : repel
2a : to contradict or oppose by formal legal argument, plea, or countervailing proof
b : to expose the falsity of : refute

intransitive verb

: to make or furnish an answer or counter proof

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Other Words from rebut

rebuttable \ ri-​ˈbə-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce rebut (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

The -but in rebut once meant basically "butt", so rebut's original meanings were "to drive or beat back" and "to attack with violent language". Rebuttals can still be rather violent, as anyone who has watched some heated moments in a presidential debate can testify. The word is often used by lawyers, since the lawyer for the accused or for the party being sued almost always tries to rebut the charges against his or her client; but it's also used in plenty of contexts outside the courtroom.

Examples of rebut in a Sentence

Her lawyer attempted to rebut the witness's testimony. Stalingrad's defenders were finally able to rebut the besiegers, but only after a horrendous loss of life.
Recent Examples on the Web Democrats are ready to rebut any unsubstantiated claims of fraud and malfeasance. al, "Marathon of Congressional Electoral College objections will only delay the inevitable," 6 Jan. 2021 Azar sought to rebut that concern Wednesday, saying that pending contracts with a number of manufacturers will ensure enough vaccine for all Americans by around the middle of next year. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, chicagotribune.com, "US is now trying to get more of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine after passing up a chance to lock in a contract this summer," 16 Dec. 2020 Biden’s aides viewed the speech as another major marker in their attempts to not only publicly rebut Trump’s false claims but to counter any notion that Biden is an illegitimate president. Matt Viser, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden speaks on power of democracy in counter to Trump’s attempts to overturn results," 15 Dec. 2020 But that ruling also said defendants can rebut that presumption by showing that the misrepresentations had no impact on the share prices. Greg Stohr, Bloomberg.com, "Goldman Gets High Court Review It Sought on Investor Suits," 11 Dec. 2020 Facebook, for its part, has mounted a massive lobbying offensive to try to rebut the allegations. Washington Post, "State, federal authorities expected to file antitrust lawsuits against Facebook on Wednesday," 9 Dec. 2020 Facebook, for its part, has mounted a massive lobbying offensive to try to rebut the allegations. Author: Tony Romm, Anchorage Daily News, "State, federal authorities expected to file antitrust lawsuits against Facebook on Wednesday," 9 Dec. 2020 The Biden campaign has spent the past two months building efforts to combat the spread of misinformation online, which will seek to rebut President Trump following the election next month. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Biden campaign unveils multimillion-dollar 'Malarkey Factory' to fight disinformation online: Report," 19 Oct. 2020 Republicans who followed some accusatory questioning from Democrats often gave Barrett a chance to rebut the negative insinuations. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Barrett emerges largely unscathed after final day of Supreme Court confirmation questioning," 14 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rebut.' 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 rebut

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for rebut

Middle English, from Anglo-French reboter, from re- + boter to butt — more at butt entry 3

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Time Traveler for rebut

Time Traveler

The first known use of rebut was in the 14th century

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Statistics for rebut

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rebut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rebut. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for rebut

rebut

verb
How to pronounce rebut (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rebut

formal : to prove (something) is false by using arguments or evidence

rebut

verb
re·​but | \ ri-ˈbət How to pronounce rebut (audio) \
rebutted; rebutting

Kids Definition of rebut

: to prove to be wrong by argument or by proof
re·​but | \ ri-ˈbət How to pronounce rebut (audio) \
rebutted; rebutting

Legal Definition of rebut

: to refute, counteract, or disprove (as opposing evidence) by evidence or argument rebut damaging testimony rebut a presumption

Other Words from rebut

rebuttable adjective
rebuttably adverb

History and Etymology for rebut

Anglo-French reboter rebuter to answer a charge, bar from an action, literally, to repulse, rebuff, from Old French reboter, from re- back + boter to push, butt

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Comments on rebut

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