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[kon-truh-vurt, kon-truh-vurt] /ˈkɒn trəˌvɜrt, ˌkɒn trəˈvɜrt/
verb (used with object)
to argue against; dispute; deny; oppose.
to argue about; debate; discuss.
Origin of controvert
1600-10; alteration of earlier controverse (< Latin contrōversus; see controversy) with -vert from advert1, convert1, etc.
Related forms
controverter, controvertist, noun
controvertible, adjective
controvertibly, adverb
uncontroverted, adjective
uncontrovertedly, adverb
uncontrovertible, adjective
uncontrovertibly, adverb
Can be confused
contravene, controvert.
1. refute, rebut. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for controvert
Historical Examples
  • That you know your duty, and will not offer to controvert his will?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Moreover, there are few now remaining who of their own memory could controvert or correct me.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • He says it is purely speculative, but he does not controvert it.


    Benjamin Taylor
  • My short residence at Castlebar did not tend to controvert these impressions.

  • This different suggestion Jabe did not take the trouble to controvert.

    The House in the Water Charles G. D. Roberts
  • We do not controvert; we only wish to deliver our testimony, and there to leave the matter.

    Loss and Gain John Henry Newman
  • I did not choose to controvert his opinions; but, "thinks-I-to-my-self," ah!

  • "'Es," answered Denny, seeing no reason to controvert this reasoning.

    Grey Town Gerald Baldwin
  • No architects have ever attempted seriously to controvert this proposition.

  • She could not controvert this; she merely waited to see what further he had to say.

    Otherwise Phyllis Meredith Nicholson
British Dictionary definitions for controvert


/ˈkɒntrəˌvɜːt; ˌkɒntrəˈvɜːt/
verb (transitive)
to deny, refute, or oppose (some argument or opinion)
to argue or wrangle about
Derived Forms
controverter, noun
controvertible, adjective
controvertibly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin contrōversus; see controversy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for controvert

c.1600, probably a back-formation from controversy. Related: Controverted; controverting; controvertible.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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