Confute Con*fute, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Confuted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Confuting}.] [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.] To overwhelm by argument; to refute conclusively; to prove or show to be false or defective; to overcome; to silence. [1913 Webster]

Satan stood . . . confuted and convinced Of his weak arguing fallacious drift. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

No man's error can be confuted who doth not . . . grant some true principle that contradicts his error. --Chillingworth. [1913 Webster]

I confute a good profession with a bad conversation. --Fuller.

Syn: To disprove; overthrow; sed aside; refute; oppugn.

Usage: To {Confute}, {Refute.} Refute is literally to and decisive evidence; as, to refute a calumny, charge, etc. Confute is literally to check boiling, as when cold water is poured into hot, thus serving to allay, bring down, or neutralize completely. Hence, as applied to arguments (and the word is never applied, like refute, to charges), it denotes, to overwhelm by evidence which puts an end to the case and leaves an opponent nothing to say; to silence; as, ``the atheist is confuted by the whole structure of things around him.'' [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • confute — I verb answer, argue, challenge, confound, contradict, contravene, controvert, counter, counteract, countercharge, countervail, debate, defeat, demolish, deny, disagree, disavow, disown, disprove, dispute, dissent, fight, gainsay, impeach, impugn …   Law dictionary

  • confute — 1520s, from M.Fr. confuter, from L. confutare repress, check; disprove, restrain, silence, from com , intensive prefix (see COM (Cf. com )), + *futare to beat, from PIE root *bhau to strike, beat (see BEAT (Cf. beat)). Related: Confuted; …   Etymology dictionary

  • confute — controvert, refute, *disprove, rebut …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • confute — [v] disprove, refute blow sky high*, break, bring to naught, confound, contradict, controvert, defeat, demolish, dismay, disprove, expose, invalidate, knocks props out from under*, negate, oppugn, overcome, overthrow, overturn, overwhelm, parry,… …   New thesaurus

  • confute — ► VERB formal ▪ prove to be wrong. DERIVATIVES confutation noun. ORIGIN Latin confutare restrain, answer conclusively …   English terms dictionary

  • confute — [kən fyo͞ot′] vt. confuted, confuting [L confutare < com , intens. + * futare < IE base * bhau t, * bhu t, to strike, BEAT] 1. to prove (a person, statement, etc.) to be in error or false; overcome by argument or proof 2. Obs. to make… …   English World dictionary

  • confute — confutable, adj. confuter, n. /keuhn fyooht /, v.t., confuted, confuting. 1. to prove to be false, invalid, or defective; disprove: to confute an argument. 2. to prove (a person) to be wrong by argument or proof: to confute one s opponent. 3. Obs …   Universalium

  • confute — /kənˈfjut / (say kuhn fyooht) verb (t) (confuted, confuting) 1. to prove to be false or defective; disprove: to confute an argument. 2. to prove to be wrong; convict of error by argument or proof: to confute one s opponent. 3. to confound or… …   Australian English dictionary

  • confute — verb To disprove or refute; to show something to be false or someone to be wrong. Procatalepsis is a forme of speech by which the Orator perceiving aforehand what might be objected against him, and hurt him, doth confute it before it be spoken …   Wiktionary

  • confute — con•fute [[t]kənˈfyut[/t]] v. t. fut•ed, fut•ing 1) to prove to be false, invalid, or defective; disprove: to confute an argument[/ex] 2) to prove (a person) to be wrong by argument or proof 3) Obs. to bring to naught; confound • Etymology:… …   From formal English to slang

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