Repudiate and refudiate

Repudiate and refudiate are words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables repudiate and refudiate, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Repudiate means to reject, to refuse to acknowledge, to disown, or to deny the veracity of something. Repudiate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are repudiates, repudiated, repudiating. The word repudiate is derived from the Latin word repudiatus, meaning to divorce or disdain.

Refudiate is not a proper English word. Some people have used refudiate to mean to reject; it is a portmanteau of the words repudiate and refute. The word was coined by Sarah Palin in a Tweet sent in 2010; the Oxford English Dictionary made refudiate the word of the year; however, the word does not appear in the dictionary.

Examples

If Joe Biden wants to produce a constructive record in foreign policy, he needs to repudiate much of the Obama‐​Biden administration’s foreign policy legacy. (Cato Institute)

Lastly, we must identify, call out, and repudiate any and all false information, lies and fiction with which the Republican Party and its allies infect the American political bloodstream. (Washington Post)

Venezuela’s opposition is organizing a popular consultation to repudiate the government of President Nicolas Maduro, a process expected to be held around the Dec. 6 congressional election that the opposition is boycotting. (Reuters)

Refudiate: Adding this word to the English language simply because a part-time politician lacks a spell checker on her cellphone is an action that needs to be repudiated. (Topeka Capital-Journal)