Definition of rebut in English:



  • 1Claim or prove that (evidence or an accusation) is false.

    ‘he had to rebut charges of acting for the convenience of his political friends’
    • ‘These presumptions or circumstances of evidence are readily rebutted by comparatively slight evidence.’
    • ‘But last night she angrily rebutted the accusation she was copying Jolomo.’
    • ‘It was not a situation where my clients could have, prior to her evidence, obtained a report to rebut that specific evidence that she gave.’
    • ‘Donegan is swift to rebut accusations of idealistic, bleeding - heart liberalism.’
    • ‘Therefore, you shouldn't take any steps against your former colleague that are not directly related to your effort to rebut the accusations.’
    • ‘Why did you not immediately rebut the accusations and clear up the misunderstanding?’
    • ‘However, as Bartlett shows, the best evidence seems to rebut any claim of such a decline.’
    • ‘His success in rebutting the accusation was, he believes, pivotal in helping the regents and the rest of the university community understand the importance of academic freedom.’
    • ‘It is extremely difficult for the local authorities to rebut such evidence.’
    • ‘But he then denied the defence adequate opportunity to rebut the evidence and lowered the legal requirements necessary for the prosecution to prove its case.’
    • ‘Cllr Gibbons rebutted these accusations, saying ‘I am not anti-development.’’
    • ‘He also submits that if the report is not admitted then there is no evidence to rebut his claim for summary judgment with this latter submission.’
    • ‘The respondent produced no evidence to rebut the claim for such relief and the learned trial judge, quite properly, attached significance to the failure.’
    • ‘Prisoners and their lawyers have no opportunity to see or rebut the evidence.’
    • ‘A lot of time is spent on rebutting accusations and counter-accusations at the expense of development.’
    • ‘The Nationalists will now be able to claim independent authority when next they seek to rebut Labour's accusation that ‘divorce is an expensive business’.’
    • ‘In those circumstances, as it seems to me, a high degree of specificity is called for if it is to be relied on as rebutting the claimant's evidence.’
    • ‘Kifaya, for one, is more interested in promoting what it calls ‘political disobedience’ than rebutting accusations levelled against it.’
    • ‘This is in line with his clear attempt to rebut the accusation that nationalism is based on being anti-English.’
    • ‘One, a lawyer, makes detailed submissions rebutting the prosecution evidence.’
    refute, deny, disprove, prove wrong, prove false
    invalidate, negate, contradict, counter, discredit, give the lie to, drive a coach and horses through, quash, explode, shoot down, destroy
    shoot full of holes, blow sky-high
    controvert, confute, negative
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  • 2archaic Drive back or repel (a person or attack)

    ‘but he … their sharp assault right boldly did rebut’
    • ‘They don't rebut him by arguing either that cutbacks in the safety net will not happen or even that they're a good thing.’
    • ‘Thus, on his account, my ‘zealous effort’ to rebut the authors I discuss harms the cause of peace.’
    • ‘Had Cleveland's message come sooner, perhaps his supporters might have had enough time to rebut the onslaught of attacks.’
    • ‘This process took several minutes, though he managed to keep his darker half in check at all times, rebutting him at every strike.’
    repel, drive back, drive away, fight back, fight off, put to flight, force back, beat off, beat back, push back, thrust back
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Middle English (in the senses ‘rebuke’ and ‘repulse’): from Anglo-Norman French rebuter, from Old French re- (expressing opposition) + boter to butt. Sense 1 (originally a legal use) dates from the early 19th century.