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 refute (audio) \ adjective
refutably \ ri-​ˈfyü-​tə-​blē How to pronounce refute (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 police probe, however, couldn’t prove or refute if the files were intentionally erased. Everton Bailey Jr., Dallas News, 1 Oct. 2021 Brooklyn Judge Carol Bagley Amon at the time said a prompt post-suspension hearing where Baffert could refute the charges was required to meet constitutional muster. CBS News, 11 Sep. 2021 Strunk was originally detained and released, in part, because of limited information to corroborate or refute her statement to police after the incident. David Aaro, Fox News, 5 Aug. 2021 Further research will confirm or refute these initial findings, especially for different vaccine manufacturers and formulations. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 2 Aug. 2021 So rather than marshaling its resources to refute the blame-America narrative, Team Biden proposes appeasement, with a larger staff at the U.S. Embassy and more remittances to the island. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, 25 July 2021 At a faculty meeting last summer, Shaikh says his colleagues discussed whether to respond to the NEJM commentary to refute the suggestion that the use of race in algorithms is always problematic. Jyoti Madhusoodanan, Science | AAAS, 22 July 2021 While many still consider chicken pox to be an important entity of natural immune system maturity, there are several reasons to refute this: 1) Complications secondary to acute varicella illness include meningitis, pneumonia, and even death. Nina Shapiro, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 Hernandez did not provide documentation to refute that Subject 4 would have felt pressured to resume an intimate relationship in mid-2018. oregonlive, 18 Feb. 2021

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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Last Updated

24 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Refute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on refute

Nglish: Translation of refute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refute for Arabic Speakers


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