Definition of debunk in English:



  • 1 Expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief)

    ‘the magazine that debunks claims of the paranormal’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rothman debunks the romantic notion of a doomed genius working feverishly by candlelight to commit his revolutionary theory of equations and groups to paper.’
    • ‘It is the first of several articles that debunk the theory that ‘A-type’ personalities are prone to heart disease.’
    • ‘She debunks the idea that the human interest story was always central to American journalism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He brilliantly debunks the notion of a single ‘pre-political’, traditional and eternal concept of marriage.’
    • ‘Sometimes this long-range goal is sacrificed because of the desire to expose or debunk a current claim.’
    • ‘They can open a window on the inner workings of ivory tower, debunking stereotypes of academics as detached from the real world.’
    • ‘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 growing body of research on parent-adolescent relationships has debunked the popular notion that emotional distancing is a necessary companion to adolescent individuation.’
    • ‘More importantly, it debunks the idea that educational reform is instituted to enhance the skills of the labour force.’
    • ‘You may have heard of professor Richard Wiseman - a British psychologist famous for debunking irrational ideas.’
    • ‘In a few pages he debunks the idea that testosterone makes men behave as they do.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘If anything, the Oscar nominations debunk the idea that this was a great year for women.’
    • ‘In his brilliant appraisal of the post-punk years, Simon Reynolds debunks the old idea that the Sixties witnessed pop's golden era.’
    • ‘The major portion of this book is dedicated to debunking beliefs in astrology, superstition and New Age beliefs.’
    • ‘The film debunks the notion of an egalitarian society.’
    • ‘Mike Males devotes a chapter in his 1999 book Framing Youth to debunking the myth that young people are not oppressed.’
    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
    shoot full of holes, shoot down in flames, blow sky-high
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    1. 1.1Reduce the inflated reputation of (someone), especially by ridicule.
      ‘comedy takes delight in debunking heroes’
      • ‘Each year, the Abstinence Clearinghouse devotes two hours of its annual conference to debunking a man whose fame and influence peaked generations ago.’
      • ‘Ignore or debunk David Irving, but don't censor him.’
      • ‘All told, an evening that deromanticises Ibsen without debunking him and that offers vital proof as to why we still need the international festival.’
      • ‘It's just not worth debunking someone who has no credibility in the first place.’
      • ‘It is not their inclination to debunk combat heroes…’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The teenage Twain's initial intention had nothing to do with debunking Simmons.’
      • ‘This is the man who spends much energy trying to debunk Mother Theresa.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’