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See more synonyms for refute on Thesaurus.com
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.
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Origin of refute

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 formsre·fut·a·ble [ri-fyoo-tuh-buhl, ref-yuh-tuh-] /rɪˈfyu tə bəl, ˈrɛf yə tə-/, adjectivere·fut·a·bil·i·ty, nounre·fut·a·bly, adverbre·fut·er, nounself-re·fut·ed, adjectiveself-re·fut·ing, adjectiveun·re·fut·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·fut·a·bly, adverbun·re·fut·ed, adjectiveun·re·fut·ing, adjective
Can be confuseddeny disapprove disprove rebut refutedispute refuterefudiate refute repudiate (see word story at refudiate)

Synonyms for refute

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1. disprove, rebut. 1, 2. confute.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unrefuted

Historical Examples of unrefuted

  • They have been unrefuted, uncontradicted in any of their details.

    The Works of Whittier, Volume VI (of VII)

    John Greenleaf Whittier

  • For us it is history undisputed, unrefuted, because it is so natural.

  • Once, their aim appeared to be a noble possibility, struggling still and unrealized, but unrefuted.

  • My books are successful; my theories are unrefuted; but I suffer in politics from a prejudice almost physical in the French.

British Dictionary definitions for unrefuted


  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)
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Derived Formsrefutable (ˈrɛfjʊtəbəl, rɪˈfjuː-), adjectiverefutability (ˌrɛfjʊtəˈbɪlɪtɪ, rɪˌfjuː-), nounrefutably, adverbrefuter, noun

Word Origin for refute

C16: from Latin refūtāre to rebut


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



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper