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

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 Video shows several officers gathered around that night but the footage, taken from a distance, is too grainy to either support or refute the allegations. Eileen Kelley,, 1 Dec. 2021 Another defendant in the case, Bluehost, which hosts the website, was also hit with a cease-and-desist order over its promotion of the event (Bluehost did not refute the temporary restraining order application). Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 21 Dec. 2021 The grocery chain hasn’t been providing necessary information to the union to refute or verify its concern or to address it through the grievance process, according to the union. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 21 Dec. 2021 Baldwin did not refute this point but clarified that the scene was meant to end with him cocking the gun while pointing it just to the side of the camera. Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2021 Amazon, asked for comment, did not directly refute the claims. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, 22 Sep. 2021 Holmes’ attorney, Kevin Downey, spent the court time questioning his own client — the defense’s first opportunity to directly refute the government’s allegations of fraud. NBC News, 23 Nov. 2021 And there are too many pastors unwilling to refute it. Kyle Whitmire, al, 28 July 2021 The company launched a webpage designed to refute allegations about its tuna. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021

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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Last Updated

21 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Refute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on refute

Nglish: Translation of refute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refute for Arabic Speakers


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