Definition of debunk in English:



[with object]
  • 1Expose the falseness or hollowness of (an idea or belief)

    ‘she debunks all the usual rubbish about acting’
    • ‘Fourth, Dr. Robison also debunks the common assumption that our kids are not only eating more today, they're eating more of the wrong kinds of food.’
    • ‘However, by an analysis of econometric studies, case study work and official statistics, this paper debunks the idea that, for the majority of these groups, ‘things are getting better’.’
    • ‘Sometimes this long-range goal is sacrificed because of the desire to expose or debunk a current claim.’
    • ‘In his brilliant appraisal of the post-punk years, Simon Reynolds debunks the old idea that the Sixties witnessed pop's golden era.’
    • ‘In a few pages he debunks the idea that testosterone makes men behave as they do.’
    • ‘Mike Males devotes a chapter in his 1999 book Framing Youth to debunking the myth that young people are not oppressed.’
    • ‘You may have heard of professor Richard Wiseman - a British psychologist famous for debunking irrational ideas.’
    • ‘More importantly, it debunks the idea that educational reform is instituted to enhance the skills of the labour force.’
    • ‘They can open a window on the inner workings of ivory tower, debunking stereotypes of academics as detached from the real world.’
    • ‘A growing body of research on parent-adolescent relationships has debunked the popular notion that emotional distancing is a necessary companion to adolescent individuation.’
    • ‘She also debunked a Western belief that health is synonymous with mediocrity and suffering with art.’
    • ‘Goode's goal is to understand rather than to debunk such beliefs.’
    • ‘A very ordinary rural chap (the Mirror piece certainly debunking the idea that he is a reclusive loner), he has understandably won mass public sympathy for the way he was mistreated.’
    • ‘It is the first of several articles that debunk the theory that ‘A-type’ personalities are prone to heart disease.’
    • ‘He brilliantly debunks the notion of a single ‘pre-political’, traditional and eternal concept of marriage.’
    • ‘She debunks the idea that the human interest story was always central to American journalism.’
    • ‘The major portion of this book is dedicated to debunking beliefs in astrology, superstition and New Age beliefs.’
    • ‘If anything, the Oscar nominations debunk the idea that this was a great year for women.’
    • ‘Rothman debunks the romantic notion of a doomed genius working feverishly by candlelight to commit his revolutionary theory of equations and groups to paper.’
    • ‘The film debunks the notion of an egalitarian society.’
    explode, deflate, puncture, quash, knock the bottom out of, drive a coach and horses through, expose, show in its true light, discredit, disprove, contradict, controvert, confute, invalidate, negate, give the lie to, prove to be false, challenge, call into question
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    1. 1.1 Reduce the inflated reputation of (someone)
      ‘comedy takes delight in debunking heroes’
      • ‘Ignore or debunk David Irving, but don't censor him.’
      • ‘It is not their inclination to debunk combat heroes…’
      • ‘Over the past two centuries, Hamilton's reputation has waxed and waned as America has glorified or debunked businessmen.’
      • ‘Whoever is trying to debunk him, they are simply jealous that he is up there and they are down there.’
      • ‘It's just not worth debunking someone who has no credibility in the first place.’
      • ‘The teenage Twain's initial intention had nothing to do with debunking Simmons.’
      • ‘I wanted to take a moment to say thank you, both for your much-needed educational foundation and for your dedicated work debunking scam artists and frauds.’
      • ‘Dr Marshall places Knox in his context and cuts him down to size without debunking him or letting him be effaced by the tumult of his times.’
      • ‘Each year, the Abstinence Clearinghouse devotes two hours of its annual conference to debunking a man whose fame and influence peaked generations ago.’
      • ‘How to debunk the man who set 61 NHL scoring records, led the NHL in scoring 10 times, and was the league MVP 9 times?’
      • ‘This is the man who spends much energy trying to debunk Mother Theresa.’
      • ‘All told, an evening that deromanticises Ibsen without debunking him and that offers vital proof as to why we still need the international festival.’