confute

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v confute prove to be false "The physicist disproved his colleagues' theories"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. t Confute To overwhelm by argument; to refute conclusively; to prove or show to be false or defective; to overcome; to silence. "Satan stood . . . confuted and convinced
      Of his weak arguing fallacious drift."
      "No man's error can be confuted who doth not . . . grant some true principle that contradicts his error.""I confute a good profession with a bad conversation."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • confute To prove to be false, defective, or invalid; overthrow by evidence or stronger argument; refute: as, to confute arguments, reasoning, theory, or sophistry.
    • confute To prove (a person) to be wrong; convict of error by argument or proof.
    • confute To disable; put an end to; stop.
    • confute Synonyms Confute, Refute. See refute.
    • n confute Confutation; opposing argument.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Confute kon-fūt′ to prove to be false: to refute: to put an end to
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Quotations

  • Francis Bacon
    Francis%20Bacon
    “Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. confutare, to chek (a boiling liquid), to repress, confute; con-, + a root seen in futis, a water vessel), prob. akin to fundere, to pour: cf. F. confuter,. See Fuse to melt
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. confutārecon, inten., and futis, a water-vessel, from fundĕre, to pour: to overthrow. See Futile.

Usage

In literature:

With Nereid green, green Nereid disputes, Replies, rejoins, confutes, and still confutes.
"The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4" by Charles Lamb
But it is easier to make such charges than to confute them.
"Plutarch's Lives Volume III." by Plutarch
To name such figments is enough to confute them in the mind of such as have spiritual discernment.
"Notes On The Apocalypse" by David Steele
You cannot confute a prophet before the event; you can only disbelieve him.
"Handbook of Home Rule (1887)" by W. E. Gladstone et al.
And a learned man who confuted this proselyte Jew appears to be of the same opinion.
"Theodicy" by G. W. Leibniz
One and all avow themselves confuted, and convicted of folly or worse.
"Rome in 1860" by Edward Dicey
But she needs only present herself, and it will effectually confute that pretense.
"The Best Ghost Stories" by Various
Nature confutes the sceptics, and reason confutes the dogmatists.
"Pascal's Pensées" by Blaise Pascal
Shall we say this, the very words whereof confute themselves and shock alike our reason and our conscience?
"Westminster Sermons with a Preface" by Charles Kingsley
I care not to confute thee nor delay.
"The Aeneid of Virgil" by Virgil
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In poetry:

Wouldst thou in knowledge true advance
And gather learning's fruit,
In love confess thy ignorance,
And thy Self-love confute.
"After Thomas Kempis" by George MacDonald
Ag. Now, me thinks, I could confute a Colledge of Divines,
A Synod of Doctors, a Lycaeum of Philosophers;
Yet me thinkes my braines are not right,
And somewhat too weake to maintaine a paradox.
"Rhodon And Iris. Act II" by Ralph Knevet
O sweet contest, of woes
With loves, of tears with smiles disputing!
O fair and friendly foes,
Each other kissing and confuting!
While rain and sunshine, cheeks and eyes,
Close in kind contrarieties.
"Saint Mar Magdelene; or, The Weeper" by Richard Crashaw
I think I almost understand
Thy owl, his muffled swiftness, moon-round eyes, and intoned hooting;
I think I could take up the part of a night-owl in the land,
With yellow moon and starry things day-dreamers all confuting.
"The Sparrow" by George MacDonald
"You, madam, are the eternal humorist,
The eternal enemy of the absolute,
Giving our vagrant moods the slightest twist!
With your aid indifferent and imperious
At a stroke our mad poetics to confute—"
And—"Are we then so serious?"
"Conversation Galante" by T S Eliot