re·​fute | \ ri-ˈfyüt How to pronounce refute (audio) \
refuted; refuting

Definition of refute

transitive verb

1 : to prove wrong by argument or evidence : show to be false or erroneous
2 : to deny the truth or accuracy of refuted the allegations

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Other Words from refute

refutable \ ri-​ˈfyü-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce refutable (audio) \ adjective
refutably \ ri-​ˈfyü-​tə-​blē How to pronounce refutably (audio) \ adverb
refuter noun

Examples of refute in a Sentence

But for every study that shows acid rain is damaging frogs, another one refutes it. — Emily Yoffe, New York Times Magazine, 13 Dec. 1992 And it violates the basic tenet of historical method: that the historian be alert to the negative instances that would refute his thesis and to alternative explanations that would be more plausible than his own. — Gertrude Himmelfarb, The New History and the Old, 1987 It is not necessary to refute such an argument point by point … — Denis Goulet, Center Magazine, May 1969 We refute these aspersions whether they come from our best friends or our worst foes. — Sir Winston Churchill, address in House of Commons, 18 Jan. 1945, in Nathan Aus, ed., Voices of History 1945–461946 The lawyer refuted the testimony of the witness. He refutes the notion that he's planning to retire soon. She refuted the allegations against her.
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Recent Examples on the Web

As a result, much of the earliest research on young people and the internet sought either to support or to refute fears about what was about to unfold online. Kate Eichhorn, WIRED, "Social Media Could Make It Impossible to Grow Up," 8 July 2019 All of the Backlash Against Michael Jackson Since Documentary Aired Alleging Abuse of Boys A month after HBO’s Leaving Neverland aired, the Jackson family released their own documentary, which aimed to refute the allegations made against Michael. Maria Pasquini,, "Janet Jackson Says Brother Michael's Legacy 'Will Continue' Ahead of His 10-Year Death Anniversary," 24 June 2019 And here's the kicker: Randall didn't even have evidence to refute Beth's claims. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "We Need to Talk About What Happened to Beth on Last Night's This Is Us," 27 Mar. 2019 Cetran has refuted the data’s validity saying that officers are pulling over drivers for motor vehicle violations and that the data doesn’t reflect the town’s actual driving population. Kathleen Mcwilliams,, "Traffic stop disparity cited in Wethersfield in statewide report released two months after fatal police shooting of Anthony ‘Chulo’ Vega Cruz," 25 June 2019 But some top colleges, like Stanford University, have previously refuted this claim, citing a need to build strong alumni networks. Zach Schermele, Teen Vogue, "Getting Into College Is A Lot Easier If Your Parents Went There. Here's Why.," 22 May 2019 Vardy was being interviewed ahead of the Foxes' FA Cup fourth round tie against Peterborough on Saturday when he was questioned about the rumours - and the 31-year-old refuted them outright., "Jamie Vardy Pours Scorn on Leicester Departure Rumours Amid Chelsea & Everton Interest," 26 Jan. 2018 Investigative Committee officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the torture allegations, but have previously refuted them. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "Russia Seizes Property From Jehovah’s Witnesses After Banning Group," 6 Mar. 2019 From there, this conversation takes a ridiculous turn with Shaq refuting Smith’s logic about gas and money and somehow explaining why half of an $80 gas tank equals $20 instead of $40. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Shaq shares his absurd logic for how to pay less for gas," 27 Apr. 2018

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

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for refute

Latin refutare to check, suppress, refute

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More Definitions for refute



English Language Learners Definition of refute

: to prove that (something) is not true
: to say that (something) is not true


re·​fute | \ ri-ˈfyüt How to pronounce refute (audio) \
refuted; refuting

Kids Definition of refute

: to say or prove that something is wrong or untrue He refuted the accusation against him.

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More from Merriam-Webster on refute

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with refute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for refute

Spanish Central: Translation of refute

Nglish: Translation of refute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refute for Arabic Speakers

Comments on refute

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


to complain fretfully

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