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.

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.

Syn. -- To disprove; overthrow; set aside; refute; oppugn. -- 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."


© Webster 1913.

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