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verb (used with object)
  1. to expose or excoriate (a claim, assertion, sentiment, etc.) as being pretentious, false, or exaggerated: to debunk advertising slogans.
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Origin of debunk

An Americanism dating back to 1920–25; de- + bunk2
Related formsde·bunk·er, noun

Synonyms for debunk

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

Related Words for debunk

disparage, puncture, mock, demystify, expose, unmask, discover, deflate, lampoon, uncloak, unshroud

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Contemporary Examples of debunk

British Dictionary definitions for debunk


  1. (tr) informal to expose the pretensions or falseness of, esp by ridicule
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Derived Formsdebunker, noun

Word Origin for debunk

C20: from de- + bunk ²
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 debunk


1923, from de- + bunk (n.2); first used by U.S. novelist William Woodward (1874-1950), the notion being "to take the bunk out of things." Related: Debunked; debunking.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper