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

transitive verb

: to prove wrong by argument or evidence : show to be false or erroneous
: to deny the truth or accuracy of
refuted the allegations
refutable adjective
refutably adverb
refuter noun

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Spears refuted the Times’ story the day after it was published. Nick Alvarez |, al, 31 May 2023 Some were consistent with Dunn’s result, and some refuted it. Viviane Callier, Scientific American, 17 May 2023 Phoenix Suns' refute Diamondbacks Sports Group's claims Suns and Phoenix Mercury CEO Josh Bartelstein issued a statement in response to Diamond Sports Group’s claims last week. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 3 May 2023 Fluctuations in the weather don’t refute clear long-term trends in the climate. Jeremy P. Shapiro, The Conversation, 2 May 2023 Judge Hall also cited several recent Eastern District court decisions that supported Campbell's position, pointedly noting that Ms. Henry didn't bother to mention and refute those precedents. Glenn G. Lammi, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2023 Potes said he was asked to refute reports that he had been detained for alleged links to criminal gangs. Diana Durán, Washington Post, 15 May 2023 Witnesses refuted Perry’s claim that Foster had raised the gun. Andrea Marks, Rolling Stone, 10 May 2023 Kentucky Derby-Winning Jockey Suspended for Careless Riding, His Fifth Ban in Nine Months Joseph refuted the concerns, and told NBC that investigators from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission met with him after the deaths. Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 5 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'refute.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin refutare to check, suppress, refute

First Known Use

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of refute was in 1545

Dictionary Entries Near refute

Cite this Entry

“Refute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


re·​fute ri-ˈfyüt How to pronounce refute (audio)
refuted; refuting
: to prove wrong by argument or evidence : show to be false
refute the testimony of a witness
refutable adjective
refuter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on refute

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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