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refute

[ri-fyoot] /rɪˈfyut/
verb (used with object), refuted, refuting.
1.
to prove to be false or erroneous, as an opinion or charge.
2.
to prove (a person) to be in error.
Origin of refute
1505-1515
1505-15; < Latin refūtāre “to check, suppress, refute, rebut,” equivalent to re- re- + -fūtāre presumably, “to beat” (attested only with the prefixes con- and re-; cf. confute)
Related forms
refutable
[ri-fyoo-tuh-buh l, ref-yuh-tuh-] /rɪˈfyu tə bəl, ˈrɛf yə tə-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
refutability, noun
refutably, adverb
refuter, noun
self-refuted, adjective
self-refuting, adjective
unrefutable, adjective
unrefutably, adverb
unrefuted, adjective
unrefuting, adjective
Can be confused
dispute, refute.
refudiate, refute, repudiate (see word story at refudiate)
Synonyms
1. disprove, rebut. 1, 2. confute.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for refute
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Unconsciously his whole practice began to refute his theories.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Traditions these which I mean not either to confirm with arguments of my own or to refute.

  • And his sense of truth did not permit him to try to refute her accusation.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • I shall go back and refute that common scoffer, that caster of doubts.

    The Burning Spear John Galsworthy
  • But how can I refute you, if, as you say, to tell a falsehood is impossible?

    Euthydemus Plato
British Dictionary definitions for refute

refute

/rɪˈfjuːt/
verb
1.
(transitive) to prove (a statement, theory, charge, etc) of (a person) to be false or incorrect; disprove
2.
to deny (a claim, charge, allegation, etc)
Derived Forms
refutable (ˈrɛfjʊtəbəl; rɪˈfjuː-) adjective
refutability (ˌrɛfjʊtəˈbɪlɪtɪ; rɪˌfjuː-) noun
refutably, adverb
refuter, noun
Usage note
The use of refute to mean deny is thought by many people to be incorrect
Word Origin
C16: from Latin refūtāre to rebut
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 refute
v.

1510s, "refuse, reject," from Middle French réfuter (16c.) and directly from Latin refutare "drive back; rebut, disprove; repress, repel, resist, oppose," from re- "back" (see re-) + -futare "to beat," probably from PIE root *bhau- "to strike down" (see bat (n.1)).

Meaning "prove wrong" dates from 1540s. Since c.1964 linguists have frowned on the subtle shift in meaning towards "to deny," as it is used in connection with allegation. Related: Refuted; refuting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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