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Confute   Listen
verb
Confute  v. t.  (past & past part. confuted; pres. part. confuting)  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."
Synonyms: To disprove; overthrow; sed 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."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Confute" Quotes from Famous Books



... electrifying. And the same is true of the book which it so gloriously opens. As history and as philosophy, it is neither original nor exact. It derived directly from Locke, and many aspects of the world and thought since Darwin's time confute it. But, however much anticipated, and however much exposed to scientific ridicule, it remains one of the burning books of the world—one of those books which, as Lord Morley said, rank as ...
— Essays in Rebellion • Henry W. Nevinson

... "I doubt whether that will confute Brinnaria's enemies or even convince the majority of ...
— The Unwilling Vestal • Edward Lucas White

... I have said before, to pit oneself against another's praise and reputation is by no means fitting for a public man: however, in important matters, where mistaken praise is injurious and detrimental, it is not amiss to confute it, or rather to divert the hearer to what is better by showing him the difference between true and false merit. Anyone would be glad, I suppose, when vice was abused and censured, to see most people voluntarily keep aloof from it; but ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... on Man' is a discussion of the moral order of the world. Its purpose is "to vindicate the ways of God to man," and it may therefore be regarded as an attempt to confute the skeptics who argued from the existence of evil in the world and the wretchedness of man's existence to the impossibility of belief in an all-good and all-wise God. It attempts to do this, not by an appeal to revelation ...
— The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems • Alexander Pope

... proceeded to confute by experience: he had repeatedly been called in to cases of mania described as sudden, and almost invariably found the patient had been cranky for years; which he condensed thus: "His conduct and behaviour for many years previously to any symptom of mental aberration being noticed, had ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... or the philosophers had bequeathed upon that mighty secret. I arranged their arguments in my mind. I armed myself with their weapons. I felt my heart spring joyously within me as I felt the strength I had acquired, and I sent to the philosopher to visit me, that I might conquer and confute him. He came; but he spoke with pain and reluctance. He saw that I had taken the matter far more deeply to heart than he could have supposed it possible in a courtier and a man of fortune and the world. Little did he know of me or my secret soul. I broke down ...
— Devereux, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... p.:256. Middleton's Free Enquiry, p. 158. It is remarkable that the names mentioned by Jerom are the names of the early apologists for Christianity. When the Church got the upper hand however, they found a better way to confute those wicked men, Celsus and Porphyry, than by "slippery problems" and by speaking "not what they thought (to be true) but what was necessary against those who are called Gentiles," viz. by seeking after, and burning carefully ...
— Letter to the Reverend Mr. Cary • George English

... play seems written to confute those enemies of Ben in his own days and ours, who have said that he made a pedantical use of his learning. He has here revived the whole Court of Augustus, by a learned spell. We are admitted to the society of the illustrious dead. ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... my whole hope rests upon your present compliance. My father, I am certain, by his letter, will now hear neither petition nor defence; on the contrary, he will only enrage at the temerity of offering to confute him. But when he knows you are his daughter, his honour will then be concerned in yours, and it will be as much his desire to have it cleared, as it is ...
— Cecilia vol. 3 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... gallantry of the enlisted men who helped to make history and revolutionize tactics at Santiago. It will tell of the heroism of the plain American Regular, who, without hope of preferment or possibility of reward, boldly undertook to confute the erroneous theories of military compilers, who, without originality or reason, have unblushingly cribbed the labored efforts of foreign officers, and foisted these compilations of second-hand opinions upon the American ...
— The Gatlings at Santiago • John H. Parker

... appeared five or six cardinals, about as many bishops, and fifteen or sixteen theologians of the Sorbonne, laden with thick folios—the writings of the Fathers of the first five centuries, with which the Cardinal of Lorraine still professed his ability to confute the Reformed.[1147] Again the twelve Huguenot ministers were admitted; but the lay deputies of the churches were excluded.[1148] The discussion was long and desultory. Beza began by replying to the first part of the cardinal's speech, and showed that there is an invisible as well as a visible ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... proceed in such a spirit of difference and contradiction towards all antiquity; undertaking not only to frame new words of science at pleasure, but to confound and extinguish all ancient wisdom; insomuch as he never nameth or mentioneth an ancient author or opinion, but to confute and reprove; wherein for glory, and drawing followers and disciples, he took the right course. For certainly there cometh to pass, and hath place in human truth, that which was noted and pronounced in the highest truth:- ...
— The Advancement of Learning • Francis Bacon

... in the making of programmes. However, Henry T. Finck says of his sonatas: "As regards the sonatas, I ought to bear MacDowell a decided grudge. After I had written and argued a hundred times that the sonata form was 'played out,' he went to work and wrote four sonatas to confute me. To be sure, I might have my revenge and say they are 'not sonatas'; but they are no more unorthodox than the sonatas of Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Grieg, though they have a freedom of their own which is captivating. They are brimful of ...
— Edward MacDowell • Elizabeth Fry Page

... accordingly obeyed. When I came into her presence she said she could not have believed I would ever have been wanting in my duty to that degree as to wound the memory of the late King, her lord. I had such reasons to offer as she could not herself confute, and therefore referred me to the Cardinal, but I found he understood those things no better than her Majesty. He spoke to me with the haughtiest air in the world, refused to hear my justification, and commanded me in the King's name to retract publicly the next day ...
— The Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz, Complete • Jean Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz

... with them? Is there not everywhere in God's Book a flat contradiction to this, in multitudes of promises, of invitations, of examples, and the like? Alas! alas! there will then be there millions of souls to confute this plea; ready, I say, to stand up, and say, 'O! deceived world, heaven swarms with such as were, when they were in the world, to the full as bad as you!' Now, this will kill all plea or excuse, why they should not perish in their sins; yea, the text says they shall ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... Clergy, and especially such as were Ministers in the congregation, should (by often reading, and meditation in God's word) be stirred up to godliness themselves, and be more able to exhort others by wholesome doctrine, and to confute them that were adversaries to the truth; and further, that the people (by daily hearing of holy Scripture read in the Church) might continually profit more and more in the knowledge of God, and be the more inflamed with the love of his ...
— The Book of Common Prayer - and The Scottish Liturgy • Church of England

... a great critic, Profoundly skill'd in Analytic; He could distinguish and divide A hair 'twixt south and southwest side; On either side he would dispute, Confute, change hands, and still confute; He'd undertake to prove by force Of argument, a man's no horse; He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl, And that a Lord may be an owl; A calf an Alderman, a goose a Justice, And rooks Committee-Men or Trustees. ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 7 • Various

... such proof, we have more than enough. Most people have not the time, patience, or ability, to set down quietly with close observation, and investigate the subject thoroughly. Hence it has been found easier to receive error for truth, than to make the exertion necessary to confute it; the more so, because there is no guide to direct the investigation. I shall, therefore, pursue a different course; and for every assertion endeavor to give a test, that the reader may apply and satisfy himself, and trust to no one. As for theories, ...
— Mysteries of Bee-keeping Explained • M. Quinby

... not."—"'Tis approved by all." Thus, resolute not from one fault to fall, If there's a symbol as to which you doubt, 'Tis a sure reason not to blot it out. Yet still he says you may his faults confute, And over him your power is absolute. But of his feigned humility take heed: 'Tis a bait laid to make you hear him read; And when he leaves you, happy in his muse, Restless he runs ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... of exchange, and my college expenses, that hung heavier at his heart than all; and such a man to die of a fright,—a ridiculous fright, that a man living 150 years ago is alive still, and yet—he is dying." John paused, for facts will confute the most stubborn logician. "With all his hardness of mind, and of heart, he is dying of a fright. I heard it in the kitchen, I have heard it from himself,—he could not be deceived. If I had ever heard he was nervous, or fanciful, ...
— The Lock and Key Library • Julian Hawthorne, Ed.

... Children, to Buy, to Read, to Extol these Labours of Mine, for the Honour of Dumpling-Eating. Let them not fear to defend every Article; for I will bear them Harmless: I have Arguments good store, and can easily Confute, either Logically, Theologically, or Metaphysically, all those who dare ...
— A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling (1726) • Anonymous

... on all occasions avoided fights (quarrels), but would not allow even others to quarrel. See in Xenophon's Symposium how many quarrels he settled, how further he endured Thrasymachus and Polus and Callicles; how he tolerated his wife, and how he tolerated his son who attempted to confute him and to cavil with him. For he remembered well that no man has in his power another man's ruling principle. He wished therefore for nothing else than that which was his own. And what is this? Not that this or that man may act according to nature, for that is a thing which belongs to another; ...
— A Selection from the Discourses of Epictetus With the Encheiridion • Epictetus

... classes in America, and they may even be foolish enough to believe it—for there are lots of very foolish politicians and preachers in the world! You may even hear a short-sighted labor leader say the same thing, but you know very well, my friend, that they are wrong. You may not be able to confute them in debate, not having their skill in wordy warfare; but your experience, your common sense, convince you that they are wrong. And all the greatest political economists are on your side. I could fill ...
— The Common Sense of Socialism - A Series of Letters Addressed to Jonathan Edwards, of Pittsburg • John Spargo

... preface to the fourth tome of the letters of St. Teresa, relates, that an eminent Lutheran minister at Bremen, famous for several works which he had printed against the Catholic church, purchased the life of St. Teresa, written by herself, with a view of attempting to confute it; but, by attentively reading it over, was converted to the Catholic faith, and from that time led a most edifying life. The examples of Mr. Abraham Woodhead and others were ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... all, and his merry quips, dry as they were, were joyously quoted to all new-comers. His legal ingenuity appeared miraculous, and it was confidently asserted in the Coffee House that he could turn black to white with so persuasive an argument that there was no Judge on the Bench to confute him. But he was not omnipotent, and his zeal encountered many a serious check. At times he failed to save the necks even of his intimates, since, when once a ruffian was notorious, Moll and the Clerk fought vainly for his release. Thus it was that Cheney, the famous wrestler, ...
— A Book of Scoundrels • Charles Whibley

... consequence of an offer made to Mr. Barwell by another person (Ramsunder Paulet) to pay him a lac of rupees more for them. The truth of these charges has not been ascertained. They were declared by Mr. Barwell to be false, but no attempt was made by him to invalidate or confute them, though it concerned his reputation, and it was his duty, in the station wherein he was placed, that charges of such a nature should have been disproved,—at least, the accuser should have been ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VIII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... stomach after so many hours. I think you are enough of a chemist to know that no doctor would dare go on the stand and swear to death from morphine poisoning in the face of such evidence against him. The veriest tyro of an expert toxicologist could too easily confute him." ...
— The Silent Bullet • Arthur B. Reeve

... minds consider natural gas to be a product of anthracite coal. The fact that the great supply-field of natural gas in Western Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, and Eastern Ohio is a bituminous and not an anthracite region does not of itself confute that theory, as the argument for it is, that the gas may be tapped at a remote distance from the source of supply; and, whereas anthracite is not a gas-coal, while bituminous is, we are told to suppose that the gas which once may have been a component part of the anthracite ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 497, July 11, 1885 • Various

... who would listen to her, till it was pretty generally understood throughout the mill that Katie Robertson was a thief, who appeared in unbecoming finery bought with ill-gotten gains. The rumor never took sufficient definiteness of shape to reach the girl so that she could confute it and explain its origin. Of course, she was not likely to tell any one in the mill about the finding of the fifty-dollar bill and what had passed between Mr. James Mountjoy and herself, since it was largely to her own credit, nor had he ever thought of mentioning ...
— Katie Robertson - A Girls Story of Factory Life • Margaret E. Winslow

... can, and that is what I and the friends whom I may call my clients in this affair are determined to do. I don't say that Mr. Bulstrode has been guilty of shameful acts, but I call upon him either publicly to deny and confute the scandalous statements made against him by a man now dead, and who died in his house—the statement that he was for many years engaged in nefarious practices, and that he won his fortune by dishonest procedures—or else to withdraw from positions which could only have been allowed him ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... this and the similar controversies on Biblical subjects, his chief aim was not simply to confute his adversary. To demolish once more the legend of the Flood, or the literal truth of the Creation myth, in which a multitude of scholars and critics and educated people generally had ceased to believe, was not an otiose slaying of the slain. It made people think of the wider questions ...
— Thomas Henry Huxley - A Character Sketch • Leonard Huxley

... to part sense from understanding and mind from body. To be sure, 'twas dark,—and allowing that I was well-nigh intoxicated with love—my brain could truly swear 'twas Sir Julian; and yet this he flung aside doth confute reason, and I must either ponder upon the this and that in endeavouring to conjoin mental and physical forces to sweet amity or give over that reaching wife's estate hath made of me a sordid fool, as hath it oft made woman heretofore. My senses up until I met one of two ...
— Mistress Penwick • Dutton Payne

... round his memory and made him hated in the Middle Ages, has been traced with exquisite delicacy by Renan,[141] who shows that his name became a rallying point for freethinkers. Scholars like Petrarch were eager to confute his sect, and artists used him as a symbol of materialistic disbelief. Thus we meet with Averroes among the lost souls in the Pisan Campo Santo, distinguished as usual by his turban and long beard. ...
— Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3 - The Fine Arts • John Addington Symonds

... constantly been shifting them, from Paris to London and from London to Paris. In London he set up for a patriot, and engaged seriously in the disputes and parties of the day, and what was very diverting, sat down for a few weeks to study the laws of England in order to confute Blackstone. His rank, to which his birth entitles him, gives him admittance to court, and the extravagancy of his wit and humor serves to divert and please men in high office, and he consequently at times fancies ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. I • Various

... with Napier, that hidden treasures could be discovered by the mathematics—who salved the weapon instead of the wound, and detected murders as well as springs of water by the divining-rod, could not consistently use, to confute the believers in witches, an argument turning on ...
— Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft • Sir Walter Scott

... foully wronged by the treaty which was his own act; he had even convinced himself that "land cannot be sold," a proposition in political economy which our modern socialists would be puzzled to accept or confute. Besides this, the tenderest feelings of his heart were outraged by this exclusion from his former domain. He had never passed a year since the death of his daughter without making a pilgrimage to her grave at Oquawka and spending ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... the divines whom it attacked; he sent it to Arminius, with a request that he would answer it. Arminius undertook the task, and attentively examined and weighed the arguments on each side; the result was, that he embraced the opinions which he had been called upon to confute, and even went further than the ministers of Delft. Upon this account, the friends of the rejected principles raised a great clamour against him; but were quieted by the intervention of the magistrates. The opinions, which Arminius adopted, he ...
— The Life of Hugo Grotius • Charles Butler

... of myth has of late made real and important progress in different directions; it has been constituted by fitting methods, and with dispassionate research, laying aside fanciful hypotheses and systems more or less prompted by a desire to support or confute principles which have no connection with science. We have now in great measure arrived at the fundamental facts whence myth is derived, although, if I do not deceive myself, the ultimate fact, and the cause of this fact, have not yet been ascertained; namely, for what reason man personifies ...
— Myth and Science - An Essay • Tito Vignoli

... into talk at once, for Lady Merrifield's safe arrival and Sir Jasper's improvement had just been telegraphed, and there was much rejoicing over the good news. Gillian had nearly made up her mind to confute the enemy by asking why Captain White had left Rockquay; but somehow when it came to the point, she durst not make the venture, and they skimmed upon more ...
— Beechcroft at Rockstone • Charlotte M. Yonge

... of their great poet, Jacob Catz, and that they were probably on their way to some agricultural convention of which the programme was in their pockets, where with arguments drawn from their modest experience they would confute the propositions of some scientific farmer from Goes or Middelburg. Ludovico Guicciardini, a Florentine nobleman, the author of an excellent work on the Netherlands printed in Antwerp in the sixteenth century, says ...
— Holland, v. 1 (of 2) • Edmondo de Amicis

... idle reasonings the phenomena of this river have put mankind to the expense of. Yet there are people so bigoted to antiquity, as not to pay any regard to the relation of travellers who have been upon the spot, and by the evidence of their eyes can confute all that the ancients have written. It was difficult, it was even impossible, to arrive at the source of the Nile by tracing its channel from the mouth; and all who ever attempted it, having been stopped by the cataracts, and imagining none that followed ...
— A Voyage to Abyssinia • Jerome Lobo

... to the group of Niobe,) others (and he mentioned the AEgina marbles as an example) were as highly finished behind as before. I owned myself unwilling to consider the Gladiator a Gaul, but the reasoning struck me, and I am too unlearned to weigh the arguments he used, much less confute them. That the statue being of Grecian marble and Grecian sculpture must therefore have come from Greece, does not appear a conclusive argument, since the Romans commonly employed Greek artists: and as to the rest of the argument,—suppose ...
— The Diary of an Ennuyee • Anna Brownell Jameson

... taking this as assurance from us. All should remember these things, and not trust the words of these men, but from the facts investigate what each, man did. 14. For I, gentlemen of the jury, was not of the party of the Four Hundred. Let any one who wishes step out and confute me; nor indeed will any one prove that while the Thirty were in power I either took part in the government nor held any office. So if I was unwilling when I could hold office, I should receive your honor, but if those then in power did not ...
— The Orations of Lysias • Lysias

... compatibility, compendium, complaisant, comport, composite, compulsive, compulsory, computation, concatenate, concentric, concessive, concomitant, condign, condiment, condolence, confiscatory, confute, congeal, congenital, conglomerate, congruity, connivance, connoisseur, connubial, consensus, consistence, consort, constriction, construe, contentious, context, contiguity, contiguous, contingent, contortion, contravene, contumacious, contumacy, contumelious, convergent, ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... saline kept back; if therefore the proportion of G M to FM be as 45 to 46, then may the Cylinder of Salt-water GM make the Cylinder of Fresh-water to rise as high as E, and to run over at N. I cannot here stand to examine or confute their Opinion, who make the depth of the Sea, below its Superficies, to be no more perpendicularly measured then the height of the Mountains above it: 'Tis enough for me to say, there is no one of those that have asserted it, have ...
— Micrographia • Robert Hooke

... damp weather," said Henrietta, surprised at the accurate remembrance, which she could not confute. "She misses ...
— Henrietta's Wish • Charlotte M. Yonge

... ELEMENT OF A PROPER ATTITUDE OF MIND IS CAUTION.—Always realize the possibility of error both in another and in yourself. Be on your guard against intentional or unintentional deception. As Bacon said, "Read not to contradict and to confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider."[3] The author you are reading may have made a mistake, or may be trying to mislead you. "When we think of the difficulty of finding the way, when we are most desirous ...
— How to Study • George Fillmore Swain

... the bar to countenance him when he was tried at the Horsham assizes. So long did this delusion last that, when George the Third had been some years on the English throne, Voltaire thought it necessary gravely to confute the hypothesis that the man in the iron mask was the ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... behind. He locked it. He stepped away from the girl, leaving her standing there. She was a picture to confute slander. ...
— The Ramrodders - A Novel • Holman Day

... the attacks against him, "Why, they'll write you down." "No, Sir," he replied; "depend upon it, no man was ever written down but by himself[748]." 'He observed to me afterwards, that the advantages authors derived from attacks, were chiefly in subjects of taste, where you cannot confute, as so much may be said on either side.[749] He told me he did not know who was the authour of the Adventures of a Guinea[750], but that the bookseller had sent the first volume to him in manuscript, to have his opinion if it should be printed; and he thought ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... thou wouldst have thy skill thought universal, Though thy dull ear be to music untrue; Then, whilst we strive to confute the Rehearsal, Prithee leave thrashing ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian • John Dryden

... he might tell his story and find no one to controvert it—how he came to claim his wife and child, and found no child, but the lover by the wife's side; was attacked, defended himself, struck right and left, and thus did the deed—she survives, by miracle, to confute him, to condemn him, and worst ...
— A Handbook to the Works of Browning (6th ed.) • Mrs. Sutherland Orr

... The mischief was ascribed to 'over-production' and not to misdirected production. The best cure for our evils, as some people thought, would be to burn all the goods in stock. On this version of the argument, it would seem that an increase of wealth might be equivalent to an increase of poverty. To confute the doctrine in this form, it was only necessary to have a more intelligent conception of the true nature of exchange. As James Mill had argued in his pamphlet against Spence, every increase of supply is also an increase of demand. The more there is to sell, the ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3) - James Mill • Leslie Stephen

... of it, than of any other tree: Notwithstanding, we have in this country of ours, no less than three sorts, which are all of them easily propagated, and prosper very well, if they are rightly ordered; and therefore I shall not omit to disclose one secret, as well to confute a popular error, as for the ...
— Sylva, Vol. 1 (of 2) - Or A Discourse of Forest Trees • John Evelyn

... experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them: for they teach not their own use, but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted; not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are ...
— The Illustrated London Reading Book • Various

... was originally stated in Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. "Argei." I endeavoured to confute it in the Classical Review, 1902, p. 115 foll., and Wissowa replied in Gesammelte Abhandlungen, p. 211 foll. Since then my conviction has become stronger that this great scholar is for once wrong. Ennius alluded to the Argei as an institution of Numa, i.e. ...
— The Religious Experience of the Roman People - From the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus • W. Warde Fowler

... learners by their own experience. He would ask me, whether it be the ultimate end of my philosophy to try experiments, or to be happy. And what answer should I make? I have none ready. Common sense stares me in the face, and my feelings, even at this instant, alas! confute my system. I shall pay too dear yet for some of my experiments. 'Sois grand homme, et sois malheureux,' is, I am afraid, the law of nature, or rather the decree of the world. Your ladyship will not read this without a smile; for you will immediately infer, that I think myself ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. III - Belinda • Maria Edgeworth

... was rough, and his tongue had a keen Shropshire tang, which indeed it never lost, giving thereby evidence to confute those who afterwards claimed for him kinship with a noble family. In truth Benbow was the son of an honest tanner of our town, and took no shame of his origin: his greatness was above such pettiness of spirit. He had run away to ...
— Humphrey Bold - A Story of the Times of Benbow • Herbert Strang

... the eternal humorist The eternal enemy of the absolute, Giving our vagrant moods the slightest twist With your air indifferent and imperious At a stroke our mad poetics to confute—" And—"Are we ...
— Prufrock and Other Observations • T. S. Eliot

... more than what was possible Elizabeth, though convicted, could always confute He sat a great while at a time. He had a genius for sitting Mistakes might occur from occasional deviations into sincerity Nine syllables that which could be more forcibly expressed in on They were always to deceive every one, upon every occasion We mustn't tickle ourselves ...
— Quotations From John Lothrop Motley • David Widger

... has a theory that any boy, if rightly trained, can be made into a gentleman and a great man; and in order to confute a friendly objector decides to select from the workhouse a boy to experiment with. He chooses a boy with a bad reputation but with excellent instincts, and adopts him, the story narrating the adventures of the mercurial lad who ...
— Captain Bayley's Heir: - A Tale of the Gold Fields of California • G. A. Henty

... symbols of the weather, And Aphrodite rose from frothy seas But to illustrate such hypotheses. With years enough behind his back, Lincoln will take the selfsame track, And prove, hulled fairly to the cob, A mere vagary of Old Prob. 120 Give the right man a solar myth, And he'll confute ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... letter in question Mr. Watts seemed to be setting himself to confute some extremely ill-considered remarks made in a certain quarter upon the structure of the sonnet, where (following Macaulay) the critic says that there exists no good reason for requiring that even the conventional limit as to length ...
— Recollections of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - 1883 • T. Hall Caine

... senses, sprung as reason wholly is From out the senses?—For lest these be true, All reason also then is falsified. Or shall the ears have power to blame the eyes, Or yet the touch the ears? Again, shall taste Accuse this touch or shall the nose confute Or eyes defeat it? Methinks not so it is: For unto each has been divided off Its function quite apart, its power to each; And thus we're still constrained to perceive The soft, the cold, the hot apart, apart All divers ...
— Of The Nature of Things • [Titus Lucretius Carus] Lucretius

... System that with logic absolute Both Standard Oil and Copper can confute; The Sovereign Alchemist that in a trice National Lead can ...
— The Re-echo Club • Carolyn Wells

... is quackery in legislation as in everything else; that rulers have their whims and errors as well as other men, and are not so wonderfully superior as he had imagined, since even he may occasionally confute them in argument. Thus awe subsides into confidence, confidence inspires familiarity, and familiarity produces contempt. Such was the case, say they, with William the Testy. By making himself too easy of access, he enabled every scrub-politician to measure wits with him, and to find out ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... occasions; their imaginations were soon exhausted, and they found, as at other times, that they must have recourse to new expedients. The first artifice of shallow courtiers is to elude with promises those complaints which they cannot confute, a practice that requires no understanding or knowledge, and therefore has been generally followed by the administration. This artifice they quickly made use of, when they found that neither the merchants nor the nation were to ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 11. - Parlimentary Debates II. • Samuel Johnson

... one of the martial believers who despised and hated the best free research men, and who knew himself in a position to confute them. He possessed some elements of culture, and had early had thoroughly drilled into him what, in comparison with the views of later times on History and Religion, was narrow and antiquated in Voltaire's education, and for this ...
— Recollections Of My Childhood And Youth • George Brandes

... be no doubt that Hermocrates was right in his view of the motive which brought the Athenians to Sicily, and the arguments of Euphemus, the advocate for Athens, who strove to confute him, will not bear examination. But the people of Camarina were in a difficult position; their city had suffered many things in the past at the hands of Syracuse, and they had reason to fear that her oppressions might be renewed, if she emerged triumphant from the present ...
— Stories From Thucydides • H. L. Havell

... direct and appoint, that the eight Divinity Lecture Sermons shall be preached upon either of the following Subjects—to confirm and establish the Christian Faith, and to confute all heretics and schismatics—upon the divine authority of the holy Scriptures—upon the authority of the writings of the primitive Fathers, as to the faith and practice of the primitive Church—upon the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ—upon the Divinity of the Holy Ghost—upon the ...
— The Relations Between Religion and Science - Eight Lectures Preached Before the University of Oxford in the Year 1884 • Frederick, Lord Bishop of Exeter

... door—in that darkness where Isabel's own special chairs were, and her own special books, and the two great walnut wardrobes filled with her dresses and wraps? What tragic argument might be there vainly striving to confute the gentle dead? "In God's name, what else could I have done?" For his mother's immutable silence was surely answering him as Isabel in life would never have answered him, and he was beginning to understand how eloquent ...
— The Magnificent Ambersons • Booth Tarkington

... daughter of the same business man whom my friend considered so unscrupulous. She was passing through Chicago and came to ask me to give her some arguments which she might later use with her father to confute the charge that Settlements were irreligious. She said, "You see, he has been asked to give money to our Settlement and would like to do it, if his conscience was only clear; he disapproves of Settlements because they ...
— Twenty Years At Hull House • Jane Addams

... thirty-six to forty-eight hours old, had spent its force, and would soon give place to a serene and lucid atmosphere. I believe the Barometer at no time countenanced this augury, which a brief experience sufficed most signally to confute. Before we had passed Coney Island, it was abundantly certain that our freshening breeze hailed directly from Labrador and the icebergs beyond, and had no idea of changing its quarters. By the time we were fairly outside of Sandy Hook, we were ...
— Glances at Europe - In a Series of Letters from Great Britain, France, Italy, - Switzerland, &c. During the Summer of 1851. • Horace Greeley

... said, "be diligent to study the law, that thou mayest know how to confute the Epicurean; consider also in whose presence thou art laboring, for the Master of thy work is faithful to pay thee the ...
— Hebrew Literature

... of illustrating any thing by similitude, lest he should confute it for an argument; yet I think the comparison of a glass will discover very aptly the fallacy of his argument, both concerning time and place. The strength of his reason depends on this, that the less cannot comprehend the greater. I have already answered, that we need not ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. II • Edited by Walter Scott

... had lived to shame me from my sneer, To lame my pencil and confute my pen— To make me own this hind of princes peer, This rail-splitter a ...
— Great Britain and the American Civil War • Ephraim Douglass Adams

... a poignant pity and allegiance in Gerald's heart, always shadowed by contempt and by unadmitted enmity. For Gerald was in reaction against Charity; and yet he was dominated by it, it assumed supremacy in the inner life, and he could not confute it. So he was partly subject to that which his father stood for, but he was in reaction against it. Now he could not save himself. A certain pity and grief and tenderness for his father overcame him, in spite of the ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... school, taught many who afterward became great men, and wrote a treatise to confute heresies of all kinds. As the pagans began to treat the christians with great severity, Justin wrote his first apology in their favour. This piece displays great learning and genius, and occasioned the emperor to publish an edict ...
— Fox's Book of Martyrs - Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant - Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs • John Fox

... Brats and Wives in Caravan; Unless perchance they'd got the Trick, To eat no more than Porker sick; Or could with well contented Maws Quarter like (v) Bears upon their Paws. Thinking his Reasons to confute, I gravely thus commenc'd Dispute, And urged that tho' a Chinese Host, Might penetrate this Indian Coast, Yet this was certainly most true, They never cou'd the Isles subdue; For knowing not to steer ...
— The Sot-weed Factor: or, A Voyage to Maryland • Ebenezer Cook

... religious and social decline to the one head of failing authority, he founds on the state of Protestantism the apology of the Papacy. He abandons to the Protestant theology the destruction of the Protestant Church, and leaves its divines to confute and abjure its principles in detail, and to arrive by the exhaustion of the modes of error, through a painful but honourable process, at the gates of truth; he meets their arguments simply by a chapter of ecclesiastical history, of which experience teaches them the force; ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... smiling with pleased excitement. "It seems," he remarked to the Masked Lady, "that we're to be in on a really famous event—the slaying of Prince Arthur. It's a great opportunity of its kind. It will give me a chance to confute the historians who have quarreled among themselves about how the poor boy met his death. How—er—how should you say ...
— Everychild - A Story Which The Old May Interpret to the Young and Which the Young May Interpret to the Old • Louis Dodge

... cultured will hear the same passages unmoved, because they, in the excess of artificially gained wisdom, have deadened their instincts so far, that while they listen to a truth pronounced, they already consider how best they can confute it, and prove the same a lie! Honest enthusiasm is impossible to the over- punctilious and pedantic scholar,—but on the other hand, I would have it plainly understood that a mere brief local popularity is not Fame, . . No! for the author who wins the first never secures ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... to make love to my lady par amours! And she, too—methinks Brenhilda allows more license than she is wont to do to yonder chattering popinjay. By the rood! I will spring into the apartment, front them with my personal appearance, and confute yonder braggart in a manner he is like ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... browsing goat to a stake. In that way I 'm in sight. 'It 's a more regular occupation!' that 's all I can get out of her. A more regular damnation! Is it a fact that artists, in general, are such wicked men? I never had the pleasure of knowing one, so I could n't confute her with an example. She had the advantage of me, because she formerly knew a portrait-painter at Richmond, who did her miniature in black lace mittens (you may see it on the parlor table), who used to drink ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... certain, undisputed; It ne'er cam i' their heads to doubt it, Till chiels gat up an' wad confute it, An' ca'd it wrang; An' muckle din there was about ...
— Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... delivering an impromptu lecture on the limits of variation from the normal type, when Elmer came in and joined the group of the great Professor's listeners, every one of whom was seeking some conclusive argument to confute their guest's overwhelmingly accurate ...
— The Wonder • J. D. Beresford

... holy Church and the doge, employed a negro boy to help him in his office. This little black boy was believed to be an imp of Satan, and went by the name of the "printer's devil." In order to protect him from persecution, and confute a foolish superstition, Manutius made a public exhibition of the boy, and announced that "any one who doubted him to be flesh and blood might come ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1 - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook • The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.

... conjectures the above nest to have possibly been that of the Dinornis, the gigantic New Zealand bird, known only by its fossil remains. A very slight knowledge, however, of ornithology, would be sufficient to confute the notion of any struthious bird constructing a nest of this kind, or of a wingless land bird of great size inhabiting an islet only a quarter of a mile in length. Both Mr. Gould and myself have seen nests of the same construction, the work of the ...
— Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade • John MacGillivray

... replies To questions put to suit him, Would not, I think, have looked so wise With Lesbia to confute him; He would more probably have bade Xantippe hasten ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 4 (of 4) • Various

... To confute them do I set down these facts of which my knowledge cannot be called in question, and also that you may know the true story of Paola di Santafior—and more particularly that part of it which lies beyond the death she ...
— The Shame of Motley • Raphael Sabatini

... some little time endeavoured mildly to confute her arguments, and convince her that in doing so, she was only forming her own misery; but still she pleaded, and ungoverned fury at length burst forth. He had been too long the victim of passions always to keep them in bounds, even when most required; and for a few minutes they ...
— The Mother's Recompense, Volume I. - A Sequel to Home Influence in Two Volumes. • Grace Aguilar

... as absolute as that of the grape that can "the two-and-twenty jarring sects confute," Nature sets at naught the most ancient of axioms. How obvious is it that the lesser cannot contain the greater! Yet that Nature under certain circumstances blandly puts her thumb unto her nose and spreads her fingers out even at that irrefragable ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... verify or confute this conjecture, Lieutenant, now Captain Flinders (from whose journal these observations on the advantages of the strait are taken), has lately sailed in his Majesty's ship Investigator. He is accompanied by several professional men of great abilities, selected by that liberal ...
— An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 2 • David Collins

... (of vomiting nails, needles, deposed by other witnesses) might be natural, only raised to a great degree by the subtlety of the devil cooperating with the malice of the witches, employs a well-known argument when he declares ('Religio Medici'), 'Those that to confute their incredulity desire to see apparitions shall questionless never behold any. The devil hath these already in a heresy as capital as witchcraft; and to appear to them ...
— The Superstitions of Witchcraft • Howard Williams

... may quote from Cosmas Indicopleustes the views that were entertained in the sixth century. He wrote a work entitled "Christian Topography," the chief intent of which was to confute the heretical opinion of the globular form of the earth, and the pagan assertion that there is a temperate zone on the southern side of the torrid. He affirms that, according to the true orthodox system of geography, the earth is a quadrangular plane, extending four hundred ...
— History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science • John William Draper

... subject, without being determined to such action, by any exterior object; which by moving its organs should furnish it with an image of the subject of its thoughts. In consequence of these gratuitous suppositions, of these extraordinary pretensions, which it is only requisite to expose, in order to confute some very able speculators, who were prepossessed by their superstitious prejudices; have ventured the length to assert, that without model, without prototype to act on the senses, the soul is competent to delineate to itself, the whole universe with all the beings it contains. DESCARTES ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 1 • Baron D'Holbach

... justify God, he had to justify all His ways to man; that if the good rules at all, it rules absolutely; and that a single exception would confute his optimism. ...
— Browning as a Philosophical and Religious Teacher • Henry Jones

... she used—and all through dinner she tried to prove that England, our great and beloved country, rests on nothing but commerce. Teresa was very much annoyed, and left the table before the cheese, saying as she did so: 'There, Miss Lavish, is one who can confute you better than I,' and pointed to that beautiful picture of Lord Tennyson. Then Miss Lavish said: 'Tut! The early Victorians.' Just imagine! 'Tut! The early Victorians.' My sister had gone, and I felt bound to speak. I said: 'Miss Lavish, I am an early Victorian; ...
— A Room With A View • E. M. Forster

... escape some touch of these smiling railers. But for Erasmus and Agrippa, they had another foundation than the superficial part would promise. Marry, these other pleasant fault-finders, who will correct the verb, before they understand the noun, and confute others' knowledge before they confirm their own: I would have them only remember, that scoffing cometh not of wisdom. So as the best title in true English they get with their merriments is to be called good fools: for so have our grave forefathers ...
— English literary criticism • Various

... Mood or Figure in Aristotle. It was called the Argumentum Basilinum (others write it Bacilinum or Baculinum) which is pretty well express'd in our English Word Club-Law. When they were not able to confute their Antagonist, they knock'd him down. It was their Method in these polemical Debates, first to discharge their Syllogisms, and afterwards to betake themselves to their Clubs, till such Time as ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... arrayed themselves against him. His novelties even drew the attention of women from their fashions. "The ladies of quality here, of late," says a writer from Paris, in 1642, "addict themselves to the study of philosophy, as the men; the ladies esteeming their education defective, if they cannot confute Aristotle and his disciples. The pen has almost supplanted the exercise of the needle; and ladies' closets, formerly the shops of female baubles, toys, and vanities, are now turned to libraries and sanctuaries of learned works. There is a new ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... Ephesus St. John could best combat and confute, both by his words and writings, the subtle and deadly heresies which were especially rife there. "False Christs," such as Simon Magus, the first heretic, Menander, Dositheus, and others, no longer troubled the Infant Church with ...
— A Key to the Knowledge of Church History (Ancient) • John Henry Blunt

... are never suspended at the prayers of man. To this conclusion the educated world is now rapidly coming. If, nevertheless, men thoroughly convinced of this still choose to believe in the efficacy of prayer, reason and science are incompetent to confute them. The belief must be tried elsewhere, - it must be transferred to the tribunal of conscience, or to a metaphysical court, in ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... say, the accumulation of an infinite number of substances, is, properly speaking, not a whole any more than the infinite number itself, whereof one cannot say whether it is even or uneven. That is just what serves to confute those who make of the world a God, or who think of God as the Soul of the world; for the world or the universe cannot be regarded as an animal or as ...
— Theodicy - Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil • G. W. Leibniz



Words linked to "Confute" :   rebut, confutative, contradict, disprove, controvert, refute, explode



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