Sunday, 16 November 2008

Rebuff, refute and repudiate

Refute is sometimes used to mean 'deny or contradict without argument or proof' (although many people think this is wrong), and in this sense it can be confused with repudiate, which means to reject the authority or validity of something: He repudiated the accusation (because it was invalid, there was no evidence for it). Repudiate can also mean 'refuse to have anything to do with something': She repudiated all our offers of help. In this meaning it overlaps with rebuff, but usually refers to the offers rather than the person making them.


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