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

Vardy was being interviewed ahead of the Foxes' FA Cup fourth round tie against Peterborough on Saturday when he was questioned about the rumours - and the 31-year-old refuted them outright., "Jamie Vardy Pours Scorn on Leicester Departure Rumours Amid Chelsea & Everton Interest," 26 Jan. 2018 Investigative Committee officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the torture allegations, but have previously refuted them. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "Russia Seizes Property From Jehovah’s Witnesses After Banning Group," 6 Mar. 2019 From there, this conversation takes a ridiculous turn with Shaq refuting Smith’s logic about gas and money and somehow explaining why half of an $80 gas tank equals $20 instead of $40. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Shaq shares his absurd logic for how to pay less for gas," 27 Apr. 2018 More recently, Hedi Slimane was rumored to be launching menswear for the house, but that claim was likewise refuted. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Legendary Designer Karl Lagerfeld Has Died," 19 Feb. 2019 The breakup fuelled reunion rumors about Kardashian and her ex, Scott Disick, although a number of sources have refuted this gossip. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kourtney Kardashian Just Wore the Sexiest Metallic Swimsuit," 25 Aug. 2018 Hailey refutes the version of their origin story that casts her as the ultimate Belieber (the name for Justin’s army of fangirls). Rob Haskell, Vogue, "Justin and Hailey Bieber Open Up About Their Passionate, Not-Always-Easy but Absolutely All-In Romance," 7 Feb. 2019 Google, which has notably not refuted any of the Times’ reporting, did not respond to Ars’ request for comment. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Google CEO: We need to “take a much harder line on inappropriate behavior”," 31 Oct. 2018 The graphic video refutes the narrative and shows McDonald veering away from officers. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Chicago judge slaps white cop on trial for Laquan McDonald murder with $2G fine for violating gag order," 6 Sep. 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 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

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

Comments on refute

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to take the place or position of

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