• synonyms


[kuh n-fyoot]
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verb (used with object), con·fut·ed, con·fut·ing.
  1. to prove to be false, invalid, or defective; disprove: to confute an argument.
  2. to prove (a person) to be wrong by argument or proof: to confute one's opponent.
  3. Obsolete. to bring to naught; confound.
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Origin of confute

1520–30; < Latin confūtāre to abash, silence, refute, equivalent to con- con- + -fūtāre; cf. refute
Related formscon·fut·a·ble, adjectivecon·fut·er, nounun·con·fut·a·ble, adjectiveun·con·fut·ed, adjectiveun·con·fut·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for confute

Historical Examples

  • He tells us that his object in studying philosophy was to confute the philosophers.

    Mystics and Saints of Islam

    Claud Field

  • To refute and to confute are to answer so as to admit of no reply.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms

    James Champlin Fernald

  • Accordingly, they confute one another in their own books to purpose, and are not ashamed.

    Against Apion

    Flavius Josephus

  • We can confute him, not only by pointing to the books he did not use, but by pointing to those he did.

  • It was Jane who lied about you, and your return with me will confute her slanders.

British Dictionary definitions for confute


verb (tr)
  1. to prove (a person or thing) wrong, invalid, or mistaken; disprove
  2. obsolete to put an end to
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Derived Formsconfutable, adjectiveconfutation (ˌkɒnfjʊˈteɪʃən), nounconfutative, adjectiveconfuter, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin confūtāre to check, silence
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

Word Origin and History for confute


1520s, from Middle French confuter, from Latin confutare "repress, check; disprove, restrain, silence," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + *futare "to beat," from PIE root *bhau- "to strike, beat" (see batter (v.)). Related: Confuted; confuting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper