Definition of refute in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈfyo͞ot/


[with object]
1Prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; disprove: these claims have not been convincingly refuted
More example sentences
  • This process of using observation and experiment to refute false theories does not rely on induction in any way.
  • In these papers, where he was largely concerned with general philosophical problems of time and space, he adopted a quixotic standpoint in his attempt to refute the theory as being logically untenable.
  • Dembski's latest attempt to refute Darwinian theory is by arguing that in a closed system, information can only decrease.
1.1Prove that (someone) is wrong.
Example sentences
  • It's almost as if Bush was daring people to refute him, knowing full well that it was such an illogical claim that it would make people uncomfortable to call him on it.
  • We set out over the past year to refute those people who said we couldn't do more than one thing at a time.
  • Literature refutes both people who think gender should be abolished and people who have overly-narrow views of womanhood or manhood.
1.2Deny or contradict (a statement or accusation): a spokesman totally refuted the allegation of bias
More example sentences
  • The students' protest was refuted by IPB spokesman Agus Lelana, who said the institute would support the administration's effort to ease congestion in the area.
  • The Cosla group, however, refutes any accusations of unfair play, claiming that McConnell and the rest of the group are simply showing ‘foresight’ in setting out local government's views.
  • Waterford Against Racism vehemently refutes the outrageous accusations made by Minister of Justice, John O'Donoghue in the past week.


The core meaning of refute is ‘prove a statement or theory to be wrong,’ as in attempts to refute Einstein’s theory. In the second half of the 20th century, a more general sense developed, meaning simply ‘deny,’ as in I absolutely refute the charges made against me. Traditionalists object to this newer use as an unacceptable degradation of the language, but it is widely encountered.



Pronunciation: /rəˈfyo͞odəbəl/ Pronunciation: /rēˈfyo͞odəbəl/ Pronunciation: /ˈrefyədəbəl/
Example sentences
  • ‘In fact, there are so many refutable claims and irresponsible accusations contained in this 175-page report that it would take another 175 pages to correct the errors,’ Mr. Boyle said.
  • The deal's proponents argued that increasing the presence of American business and dollars in China would somehow make all that come to pass - a refutable presumption, but one that raises the bar for future trade deals.
  • The problem: some of the evidence may indeed have been refutable, dating as it did, in some cases, back 10 years or more.


Pronunciation: /rəˈfyo͞odl/
( rare)
Example sentences
  • There is Young's initial abnegation and refutal, then there is a pool of chemicals, a body, a nose, a certain set of chemical and physical reactions, the paper (which has its own history and set of possible reactions), and something else.
  • And maybe this is related to the artsy refutal of the value of legibility by those who want to express themselves more than submit to the realities of human society?


Pronunciation: /rəˈfyo͞odər/
Example sentences
  • We'd need a one-to-one ratio of professional refuters to loonies, just to keep up.
  • At which point, the nation will again fall to its knees in awe at the Tinkerman, this arch-manipulator of his own destiny, this brave refuter of that classic piece of motherly advice: ‘Don't pick at it - it'll only get worse.‘
  • Finally, if ID claims are refuted point-by-point, Dembski calls the refuter an ‘Internet stalker’ or ‘inhabiting a fantasy life’ or ‘obsessive’.


Mid 16th century: from Latin refutare 'repel, rebut'.

Words that rhyme with refute

acute, argute, astute, beaut, Beirut, boot, bruit, brut, brute, Bute, butte, Canute, cheroot, chute, commute, compute, confute, coot, cute, depute, dilute, dispute, flute, galoot, hoot, impute, jute, loot, lute, minute, moot, newt, outshoot, permute, pollute, pursuit, recruit, repute, route, salute, Salyut, scoot, shoot, Shute, sloot, snoot, subacute, suit, telecommute, Tonton Macoute, toot, transmute, undershoot, uproot, Ute, volute

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·fute

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