verb re·but \ ri-ˈbət \
Updated on: 20 Jan 2018

Definition of rebut

rebutted; rebutting
transitive verb
1 : to drive or beat back : repel
2 a : 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


play \ri-ˈbə-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of rebut in a Sentence

  1. Her lawyer attempted to rebut the witness's testimony.

  2. Stalingrad's defenders were finally able to rebut the besiegers, but only after a horrendous loss of life.

Recent Examples of rebut from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of rebut

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

rebut Synonyms

REBUT Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of rebut for English Language Learners

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

REBUT Defined for Kids


verb re·but \ ri-ˈbət \

Definition of rebut for Students

rebutted; rebutting
: to prove to be wrong by argument or by proof

Law Dictionary


transitive verb re·but \ ri-ˈbət \

legal Definition of rebut

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





Origin and Etymology of 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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to lessen the seriousness or strength of

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