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 refute (audio) \ adjective
refutably \ ri-​ˈfyü-​tə-​blē How to pronounce refute (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 And that could impact studies that may confirm or refute the benefits of certain drugs or medical interventions. Dalmeet Singh Chawla, Science | AAAS, "Millions of animals may be missing from scientific studies," 14 Oct. 2020 While Twitter was eager to refute Trump's claims, the reason for Trump's egregious lie might be the best part. Sarah Midkiff,, "Trump’s Conspiracy Theory About Georgia Is Even More Wild Than We Thought," 30 Dec. 2020 Earlier Monday, Xu and other officials held a three-hour news conference in Beijing to refute persistent and mounting international criticism of the government's actions in Xinjiang., "China Signals No Let-up in Xinjiang Crackdown as It Aims to Address Roots of Extremism," 21 Dec. 2020 The insinuation that his wife’s family was tied to Soviet-era repression apparently incensed Navalny, who posted his father-in-law’s death certificate and other documents online to refute the claims. Washington Post, "Radio Free Europe fires a prominent Russian journalist for Navalny comments," 16 Dec. 2020 These new interpretations don’t refute the paternal tribute or diminish the tragedy of the death itself. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Viking Runestone May Trace Its Roots to Fear of Extreme Weather," 10 Jan. 2020 Benson and Nelson refute the findings, arguing the report is riddled with errors and shows a misunderstanding of election operations. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's Electoral College delegates cast all 16 votes for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris," 14 Dec. 2020 However, Republicans on the committee were quick to refute the letter. Grace Segers, CBS News, "CDC director accused of ordering deletion of email interfering with coronavirus guidance," 10 Dec. 2020 Married phones But mobile phone records for both Troulliet and Harris refute his version of events, Keller testified. Michelle Hunter | Staff Writer,, "Marrero double murder followed failed internet date, investigators say," 9 Dec. 2020

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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Statistics for refute

Last Updated

14 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Refute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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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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Comments on refute

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