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 But in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are refuting that. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman React Perfectly to Rumors of 'Big Little Lies' Director Drama," 28 July 2019 Apple didn't refute the report in a comment to CBS MoneyWatch. Sarah Min, CBS News, "Apple moving production of U.S.-built Mac Pro computer to China," 28 June 2019 According to the county’s statement, officers and the lead detective learned during the course of their investigation that the damage to the business did not occur earlier in the day, refuting Coughman’s statement. Sanya Mansoor, Time, "Former NFL Player Arrested for Staging Fake 'Hate Crime' at His Own Business in Georgia," 15 Sep. 2019 One of Clement’s pupils was Origen, whose A.D. 248 tract Against Celsus refuted pagan attacks on Christian doctrine and proved a crucial text in defending the new faith far beyond Egypt. National Geographic, "Ancient Egypt gave rise to one of the world's oldest Christian faiths," 19 Apr. 2019 Tenney refuted those complaints, arguing that the claims were unsubstantiated. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Bluebird Canyon Farms can host more events, expand its apiary after Laguna council denies neighbors’ appeal," 11 Sep. 2019 In a court filing before the trial, prosecutors refuted the information presented by Richardson's attorneys. Keith Bierygolick,, "Skylar Richardson trial: Attorney blasts police who investigated buried baby case. 'No guts'," 3 Sep. 2019 Schools were not told otherwise, and Las Vegas Invitational organizers never refuted it publicly. San Diego Union-Tribune, "SDSU basketball learns opponent in Las Vegas tournament, and it’s not who they thought," 23 Aug. 2019 Since 1993, scores of high-powered scholars have attempted to refute it in a steady stream of papers, many highly mathematical. William Poundstone, WSJ, "‘Doomsday’ Math Says Humanity May Have Just 760 Years Left," 27 June 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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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

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a calculated move

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