rebut

verb
re·​but | \ ri-ˈbət \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rebut

rebuttable \ ri-​ˈbə-​tə-​bəl \ 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

And as far as this column can tell no one at that time was publicly rebutting her claim. James Freeman, WSJ, "Harvard, Penn and the Warren Story," 17 Oct. 2018 Rob Goldman, Facebook’s vice president of ads, rebutted the op-ed in a Twitter thread today. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why we can’t stop debating whether Facebook sells data," 14 Dec. 2018 In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert didn’t rebut or even acknowledge the CIA assessment. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "Analysis: Path Grows Rockier for Trump’s Saudi Policy," 18 Nov. 2018 Assistant District Attorney Deborah Watson-Stokes, the prosecutor who had rejected Nenner’s assertions about Morrison more than a year earlier, tried to rebut the evidence. Mensah M. Dean, Philly.com, "3 charged, none convicted: Why a North Philly murder remains unsolved," 29 May 2018 Comey has tried to rebut Giuliani’s attacks in the past. Washington Post, "‘I guess the love is gone’: Ex-FBI director Comey responds to Rudy Giuliani’s suggestion that he might have lied," 8 May 2018 Comey has tried to rebut Giuliani's attacks in the past. Matt Zapotosky And John Wagner, chicagotribune.com, "James Comey responds to Rudy Giuliani's suggestion he might have lied," 8 May 2018 Moreover, the Democrats were able to effectively rebut many Republican talking points, notably by calling attention to the fact that Strzok’s dim view of the GOP was shared by many Republicans in the past. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Washington Post worries Strzok hearings were bad for democracy.," 13 July 2018 The report, though, largely seemed to rebut the president’s claims. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "In assessing donations to McCabe’s wife, inspector general does not find what Trump had hoped," 14 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rebut

Statistics for rebut

Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rebut

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rebut

rebut

verb

English Language Learners Definition of rebut

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

rebut

verb
re·​but | \ ri-ˈbət \
rebutted; rebutting

Kids Definition of rebut

: to prove to be wrong by argument or by proof
re·​but | \ ri-ˈbət \
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rebut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rebut

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rebut

Spanish Central: Translation of rebut

Nglish: Translation of rebut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rebut for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rebut

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

WORD OF THE DAY

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!