Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To prove to be wrong or in error; refute decisively.
  • transitive verb Obsolete To confound.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To prove to be false, defective, or invalid; overthrow by evidence or stronger argument; refute: as, to confute arguments, reasoning, theory, or sophistry.
  • To prove (a person) to be wrong; convict of error by argument or proof.
  • To disable; put an end to; stop.
  • Synonyms Confute, Refute. See refute.
  • noun Confutation; opposing argument.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To overwhelm by argument; to refute conclusively; to prove or show to be false or defective; to overcome; to silence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To show (something or someone) to be false or wrong; to disprove or refute.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb prove to be false

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin cōnfūtāre; see bhau- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French confuter, and its source, Latin confūtāre.

Examples

  • The author also gives the Hindustani word as 'kaelkur-hin', which seems to be intended for _qâil kareñ_, or in rustic form _karahiñ_, meaning 'confute'.

    Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official

  • The golfer's regard of Elin, 29, also seemed to confute the grumpy grousing he made about his marriage bed, complaining which "once we get married, the sex stops," according to sources.

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • As for De Casseres -- if ever I get back to New York, equipped as I now am, I shall confute him with the same ease that he has confuted all the schools.

    CHAPTER XXXVII

  • The golfer's regard of Elin, 29, also seemed to confute the grumpy grousing he made about his marriage bed, complaining which "once we get married, the sex stops," according to sources.

    Truth to Power: Professional Athlete Tiger Woods

  • But Israel's labor and culture worlds and overall the most democratic political faction are trying to make every effort to confute these accusations.

    Amir Madani: Perspectives of Peace in the Middle East

  • In the article on Collins in Birch's Dictionary, Birch notes that his “large and curious [library] was open to all men of letters, to whom he readily communicated all the lights and assistance in his power, and even furnished his antagonists with books to confute himself, and directed them how to give their arguments all the force of which they were capable” (Birch, quoted in Berman, 1975).

    Anthony Collins

  • Neither an act of God nor a piece of journalism will vindicate Willingham or confute the death penalty.

    Rob Fishman: Trial by Firefight

  • So now is the moment for the President-elect to confute his critics, and demonstrate that he has the toughness needed to deal with the Islamofascist threat, no matter who its agents may be.

    Mark Kleiman: Torture: A modest proposal

  • Fie upon thee! man needs should have some certain test set up to try his friends, some touchstone of their hearts, to know each friend whether he be true or false; all men should have two voices, one the voice of honesty, expediency's the other, so would honesty confute its knavish opposite, and then we could not be deceived.

    Hippolytus

  • Fie upon thee! man needs should have some certain test set up to try his friends, some touchstone of their hearts, to know each friend whether he be true or false; all men should have two voices, one the voice of honesty, expediency's the other, so would honesty confute its knavish opposite, and then we could not be deceived.

    Hippolytus

Comments

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  • "Nay, if thou talk of reason, then be mute:

    For with good reason I can thee confute.

    If they, which first by nature's sacred law,

    Do owe to me the tribute of their lives;

    If they to whom I always have been kind,

    And bountiful beyond comparison;

    If they, for whom I have undone myself,

    And brought my age unto this extreme want,

    Do now reject, condemn, despise, abhor me,

    What reason moveth thee to sorrow for me?"

    - anon., 'King Leir'.

    October 25, 2008