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 rebuttable (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 Unlike the procedures of the Intelligence Committee, the procedures of the Judiciary Committee should allow Trump to put on his own witnesses, rebut witnesses against him and present a legal defense. Tom Campbell, Orange County Register, "Trump’s side should be heard before House moves on impeachment: Tom Campbell," 2 Dec. 2019 It’s as though Bill Clinton had rebutted allegations of an affair with Monica Lewinsky by claiming to be a virgin. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Trump was combating corruption in Ukraine? Don’t make me laugh.," 13 Nov. 2019 Of course, there are also times when the Wolverines do look for Collins downfield, only to be rebutted by the opposing team's coverage. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's cure to passing game may be to pepper Nico Collins," 5 Nov. 2019 An attorney for the whistleblower, whose identity has not been made public, rebutted Trump's claim. Author: Ellen Nakashima, Anchorage Daily News, "Whistleblower sought guidance from Schiff’s panel before filing complaint," 2 Oct. 2019 Their statements were rebutted Monday by the inspector general for the intelligence community and misrepresent reality. San Diego Union-Tribune, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s fiction about whistleblower complaint," 1 Oct. 2019 Polster rebutted both assertions on legal grounds and said neither decision created the appearance of bias on his part. Lenny Bernstein, Washington Post, "Judge in landmark opioid trial declines to step aside," 26 Sep. 2019 Kansas has an opportunity to challenge the notice and rebut its assertions. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Could NCAA's Latest Notice of Allegations Against Kansas End Bill Self?," 23 Sep. 2019 The previously secret document, with its detail and clear narrative, is likely to accelerate the impeachment process and put more pressure on Trump to rebut its core contentions and on his fellow Republicans to defend him or not. Mary Clare Jalonick, Twin Cities, "Whistleblower: White House tried to ‘lock down’ call details," 27 Sep. 2019

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

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Rebut.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rebut. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on rebut

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rebut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rebut

Spanish Central: Translation of rebut

Nglish: Translation of rebut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rebut for Arabic Speakers

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to assail by words or arguments

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