refute

The verb refute is to prove that something is wrong. When the kids you're babysitting swear they brushed their teeth, you can refute their claim by presenting the dry toothbrushes.

Evidence and arguments are used to refute something. So are facts. For example, if children who eat chocolate before going to bed go straight to sleep, that refutes the idea that sugar keeps them up. Refute comes from the Latin refutare for "to check, suppress." A near synonym is confute, but save refute as an everyday word for proving something is false.

Definitions of refute
1

v overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof

“The speaker refuted his opponent's arguments”
Synonyms:
rebut
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
contradict, controvert, oppose
be resistant to
answer
give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument)
blackball, negative, veto
vote against; refuse to endorse; refuse to assent
dissent, protest, resist
express opposition through action or words
Type of:
disown, renounce, repudiate
cast off

v prove to be false or incorrect

Synonyms:
controvert, rebut
Type of:
confute, disprove
prove to be false

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.