Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To prove to be false, invalid, or in error; refute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To prove to be false or erroneous; to confute; to refute.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To prove to be false or erroneous; to confute; to refute.
  • transitive v. To disallow; to disapprove of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To prove to be false or erroneous; confute; refute: as, to disprove an assertion, an argument, or a proposition.
  • To prove not to be genuine, real, or just; set aside by contrary proof; invalidate: as, to disprove a person's claim to land.
  • To convict of the practice of error.
  • To disapprove; disallow.

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

  • v. prove to be false

Etymologies

Middle English disproven, from Old French desprover : des-, dis- + prover, to prove; see prove.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English, from Anglo-Norman desprover (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And what no one has ever managed to disprove is the fact that the market can correct itself more effectively than an outside hand, regardless of how many stupid chimps have to suffer in the process.

    Matthew Yglesias » Question for Stimuskeptics

  • Be that as it may, the main problem I have with the view that all apparent errors are problems with the interpreter rather than the Bible itself is that it seems impossible to disprove - in other words, it is unfalsifiable.

    Limits of Literalism

  • When I'm feeling especially flippant, I'll add, "Have you scanned nuns brains to 'disprove' the theory than nuns are just religious people?"

    Neuroscience: Don't Be Intimidated, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Likewise if Venter should intelligently design a synthetic organism it does not "disprove" the puddle theory.

    Better Bubbles

  • I never claimed this would disprove ID, in fact on many occasions I've mentioned that ID is not science because nothing could conceivably "disprove" it.

    Better Bubbles

  • Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced Wednesday that they've introduced a resolution to "disprove" the city's law on legalizing pot for medical use.

    Lori's A.M. Buzz

  • Armed with this tool, an ID proponent can "disprove" evolution by simply shifting between the two conflicting definitions without reference to anything about the original structure.

    A Decade Spanning Single Exchange

  • The only way to "disprove" it is with a truckload of statistics.

    Debunking Astrology: Mars Can't Influence You | Universe Today

  • They conflate the Bible with all religious belief; to them - the existence of contradictions or uncertainties within the Biblical text instantly "disprove" all religion.

    Science

  • It is also falsifiable - to "disprove" the theory of evolution, you would have to find numerous fossils in the wrong places (eg fossil rabbits in the pre-cambrian era).

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

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