Definition of controvert in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈkɒntrəvəːt//ˌkɒntrəˈvəːt/


  • 1 Deny the truth of (something)

    ‘subsequent work from the same laboratory controverted these results’
    • ‘I shall have to controvert one or two ideas that are almost universally accepted.’
    • ‘Michael Williams is not the first author to controvert its teachings.’
    • ‘It is there and it is not controverted in relevant respect.’
    • ‘The creeds make no claims on us, for as soon as they become controverted, the judges stated, they cease to have authority.’
    • ‘We have already seen some of the first struggle, between a text originating in the oral tradition and a later textually-based anthropological and historical tradition that controverts its authority.’
    • ‘There is nothing here that controverts a finding which is the barest minimum finding to sustain the charge.’
    • ‘If it is a factual question, although it can be received here, Mr Jackson would be entitled to attempt to controvert it if he could.’
    • ‘I have laid down four propositions which I think cannot be controverted.’
    • ‘The facts of his incarceration are not controverted.’
    • ‘In such cases, the earlier acquittal would not be controverted by a guilty verdict on the second.’
    • ‘If the evidence used to reach a conclusion is later controverted, can the conclusion itself still be correct?’
    • ‘They are wide open to spiritual suggestions that controvert and challenge the beliefs of their families.’
    • ‘The defendants are all in a position to controvert the contents of the statements if they dispute them.’
    • ‘For soon, empirical evidence about actual marriages will exist to potentially controvert the predictions.’
    contradict, repudiate, gainsay, declare untrue, dissent from, disagree with, challenge, contest, oppose
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Argue about (something)
      ‘the views in the article have been controverted’
      • ‘Is that not the key proposition which the parties seek to controvert?’
      • ‘If the employer is to controvert that, there should be documentation of the problems.’
      • ‘None of the propositions that I have placed before the Court thus far, with perhaps the exception of the relevance of the precontract correspondence, can be controverted.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin controversus (see controversy), on the pattern of pairs such as adversus (see adverse), advertere (see advert).