re·​fute | \ ri-ˈfyüt \
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 \ adjective
refutably \ ri-​ˈfyü-​tə-​blē \ 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

In the suit, Parneros refutes any harassment or bullying. Deepti Hajela, The Seattle Times, "Ex-CEO sues Barnes & Noble over his firing," 28 Aug. 2018 Trump has in the past accused President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower — a claim that has been refuted by intelligence officials but one he's asked Congress to investigate. NBC News, "Rand Paul asks Haspel if the CIA spied on Trump in 2016," 16 May 2018 Following its publication, Cattrall takes to Twitter to refute this account. Cady Lang, Time, "A Timeline of the Sex and the City Fallout Between Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall," 6 June 2018 The Portuguese boss refuted those claims in Friday's pre-match press conference and stated that all speculation over Pogba's dealings with him were 'lies'., "Paul Pogba Ruled Out of Huddersfield FA Cup Clash Through Illness Amid Mourinho Rift Rumours," 17 Feb. 2018 But the findings were eventually refuted and blamed on issues with the telescope van de Kamp used. Loren Grush, The Verge, "A cold ‘super-Earth’ may live around a nearby star," 14 Nov. 2018 Breuder had a right to refute those allegations and was not allowed to do so, the appellate court ruled. Stacy St. Clair,, "College of DuPage sues former president for $25 million," 2 July 2018 Tesla refuted Tripp's claims to being a whistleblower and said his claims are exaggerated or misconstrued. Drew Harwell, Anchorage Daily News, "Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor," 22 June 2018 McNair refuted key evidence the infractions committee — and the NCAA's legal team in this case — used to link him to the Bush scandal. Nathan Fenno,, "An emotional Todd McNair testifies that NCAA penalty left him in a state of depression," 4 May 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 \
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

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