• synonyms


[kon-truh-vurt, kon-truh-vurt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to argue against; dispute; deny; oppose.
  2. to argue about; debate; discuss.
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Origin of controvert

1600–10; alteration of earlier controverse (< Latin contrōversus; see controversy) with -vert from advert1, convert1, etc.
Related formscon·tro·vert·er, con·tro·vert·ist, nouncon·tro·vert·i·ble, adjectivecon·tro·vert·i·bly, adverbun·con·tro·vert·ed, adjectiveun·con·tro·vert·ed·ly, adverbun·con·tro·vert·i·ble, adjectiveun·con·tro·vert·i·bly, adverb
Can be confusedcontravene controvert


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

confound, deny, refute, oppugn, contradict, challenge, counter, question, wrangle, break, confute, disprove, contest, debate, rebut, discuss, dispute, disconfirm

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

British Dictionary definitions for controvert


verb (tr)
  1. to deny, refute, or oppose (some argument or opinion)
  2. to argue or wrangle about
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Derived Formscontroverter, nouncontrovertible, adjectivecontrovertibly, 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

Word Origin and History for controvert


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper