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 The aforementioned controversy resulting from Panos claiming he was forced to retire by the school administration (which was refuted by school officials) only complicated matters more., "Trailing, 22-15, with a little more than five minutes to play, the Wildcats capped a methodical scoring drive with a 6-yard touchdown run by quarterback Matt Lavoie on a triple-option read with three choices: Hand the ball to the running back, keep it, or pitch it to the wing back.," 25 Nov. 2019 That argument has been refuted by the power grid operators themselves. Jessie Balmert,, "Ohio's bizarre nuclear bailout brawl might be just getting started," 18 Oct. 2019 This idea was refuted by zoologists, who since the early 19th century, have studied modern turtle embryos to trace how the shell develops. Hans-dieter Sues, Smithsonian, "How the Turtle Got Its Shell, With Apologies to Aesop," 20 Aug. 2019 That arid worldview is refuted by the joyful families picnicking in Sunder Nursery, and the devotion of pilgrims at Nizamuddin baoli. The Economist, "India’s magnificent stepwells are relics of a nuanced history," 13 July 2019 That article was quickly and strongly refuted by the franchise's management. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "NBA Draft: Biggest busts and best picks in Houston Rockets history," 20 June 2019 There were two causes Kline gave that the town didn’t refute: faulty equipment and accidents. Akira Kyles,, "At New Windsor council meeting, utility acknowledges ongoing power problems, residents’ frustration," 9 Nov. 2019 How was his disposition after refuting THAT quote from Harvard? Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks Podcast: Is something a little off about the Bucks in the early going?," 30 Oct. 2019 Our national saga has at times followed a complicated path, but a few aberrational uprisings do not refute de Tocqueville’s conclusion that America was—and remains—an egalitarian society uniquely suited to democratic self-government. Smithsonian, "November 2019 Discussion," 25 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for refute

Time Traveler

The first known use of refute was in 1545

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Statistics for refute

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Refute.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for refute


How to pronounce refute (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for refute

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with refute

Spanish Central: Translation of refute

Nglish: Translation of refute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refute for Arabic Speakers

Comments on refute

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very cautious or careful

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