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 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 Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has sent an email to parents of players on his team, refuting a report saying representatives are working on his departure from his alma mater. Larry Lage,, "Jim Harbaugh calls rumors he’s leaving Michigan ‘total crap’ in an email to players’ parents," 23 Oct. 2019 That’s not sufficient…the doctor has to show us how and why.’’ If fund staff or an independent medical examiner refutes a claim and the fund denies it, the officer or firefighter can appeal, Hutchison said. oregonlive, "Stress-related disability claims filed by Portland police, firefighters expected to increase under new state law," 16 Oct. 2019 This symbolic gesture aimed not just to reject or refute ideas but to obliterate the very paper on which they were written ... Amir Vera And Natalie Johnson, CNN, "Georgia college students burned the books of a Latina author," 11 Oct. 2019 Pinnick claimed in September 2017 that Abraham had started the process of formally switching his international allegiance from England to Nigeria, something the player quickly refuted., "Tammy Abraham Still 'Undecided' on International Future Ahead of Expected England Call-Up," 3 Oct. 2019 Protesters said the slow police response to that attack indicated that officers were colluding with the attackers — an allegation that authorities have refuted. NBC News, "China blames Hong Kong violence on Western forces, defends police," 29 July 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

Comments on refute

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