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

v overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof

“The speaker refuted his opponent's arguments”
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contradict, controvert, oppose
be resistant to
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

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

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