Repudiate vs refute

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Repudiate and refute are two words that are often confused. We will examine the definitions of repudiate and refute, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Repudiate means to reject, to refuse to acknowledge, to disown, 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.

Refute means to disprove something, to show that a statement is false, to contradict a statement. The word refute is also a transitive verb, related words are refutes, refuted, refuting. The word refute is derived from the Latin word refutare meaning to rebut, repress or disprove. Remember, repudiate means to reject, while refute means to disprove something.


The U.S. and Israel cheered the riots from the very beginning, sparking anger among many Iranians who have taken to the streets over the past few days to reiterate support for the Islamic establishment and repudiate the unrest. (The Tehran Times)

Beyond the greater oversight and accountability that divided government brings, a decisive defeat of the GOP is the only tool voters have to repudiate Trump, in particular his tendency to stoke animus against minority groups to gain power. (The Miami Herald)

Like clockwork, you will also start seeing tweets and posts refuting climate change even though 2017 will end as one of the top 3 warmest years on record. (Forbes Magazine)

“I refute and reject that statement as a smokescreen to hide the truth on the record of his government which has masqueraded with the mandate of the people. (The Fiji Times)