[ ri-fyoot ]
See synonyms for: refuterefuting on

verb (used with object),re·fut·ed, re·fut·ing.
  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

First recorded in 1505–15; from 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)

Other words for refute

Other words from refute

  • re·fut·a·ble [ri-fyoo-tuh-buhl, ref-yuh-tuh-], /rɪˈfyu tə bəl, ˈrɛf yə tə-/, adjective
  • re·fut·er, noun
  • self-re·fut·ed, adjective
  • self-re·fut·ing, adjective
  • un·re·fut·ed, adjective
  • un·re·fut·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with refute

Words Nearby refute Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use refute in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for refute


/ (rɪˈfjuːt) /

  1. (tr) to prove (a statement, theory, charge, etc) of (a person) to be false or incorrect; disprove

  2. to deny (a claim, charge, allegation, etc)

Origin of refute

C16: from Latin refūtāre to rebut

usage For refute

The use of refute to mean deny is thought by many people to be incorrect

Derived forms of refute

  • refutable (ˈrɛfjʊtəbəl, rɪˈfjuː-), adjective
  • refutability (ˌrɛfjʊtəˈbɪlɪtɪ, rɪˌfjuː-), noun
  • refutably, adverb
  • refuter, noun

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