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 Schiermeyer rebutted the notion that the rule would weaken science. Sean Reilly, Science | AAAS, "EPA science advisers slammed the agency for ignoring science. Here is what they said," 2 Jan. 2020 That last conclusion rebuts President Donald Trump's claims that the probe was launched as part of a politically biased plot against him. Adam Edelman, NBC News, "AG Barr condemns IG report's finding that FBI probe of Trump campaign was justified," 9 Dec. 2019 Feldman effectively rebutted that line of questioning by saying that the Ukraine evidence had changed his mind. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "What the Law Professors Brought to the Trump Impeachment Hearings," 5 Dec. 2019 To rebut, the Patriots will insist they are relieved of the obligation to pay. Michael Mccann,, "How Antonio Brown’s Likely Labor Grievance Against the Patriots Will Play Out," 22 Sep. 2019 Also on Friday, Apple rebutted a piece from Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall, who said free trials of the company’s Apple+ service would have a negative impact on earnings. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Can a Mattress Startup Be a Tech Company, Too?—Data Sheet," 16 Sep. 2019 Representative Gregorio Sablan, a Democrat from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, rebutted the idea that small communities can’t uphold legal standards. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Congressman Objects to Casino-Goers Being Subject to Local Law if They Assault Women," 6 Dec. 2019 Kobick rebutted Terry’s claims that nicotine vaporizers are safer than marijuana vapes., "four-month ban on all vaping product sales," 5 Oct. 2019 Republicans will have to rebut or explain these charges. The Economist, "The Ukraine affair The new politics of Donald Trump’s impeachment," 10 Nov. 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

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rebut.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for rebut


How to pronounce rebut (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rebut

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


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

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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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