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From Late Middle English redarguen, redargue (to defeat (someone) in an argument; to rebuke, reprove),[1] from Middle French redarguer and Old French redargüer (to disprove, refute; to accuse, blame; to rebuke, reprove) (modern French rédarguer), and from their etymon Latin redarguere (to disprove, refute) (compare Late Latin redarguere (to rebuke, reprove)), the present active infinitive of redarguō (to disprove, refute; to contradict), from red- (a variant of re- (prefix meaning ‘again’)) + arguō (to assert, declare; to clarify, make plain; to prove, show; to accuse, charge with; to censure, rebuke, reprove; to blame; to denounce as false) (possibly ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂erǵ- (argent, white; glittering), in the sense of casting light on something to make it clear).[2] Doublet of argue.



redargue (third-person singular simple present redargues, present participle redarguing, simple past and past participle redargued)

  1. (transitive)
    1. (obsolete except Scotland, law)
      1. To disprove or refute (someone) in an argument.
      2. To rebut or refute (an argument, a proposition, etc.).
        • 1635, George Hakewill, “Touching Grammar, Rhetorique, Logicke, the Mathematiques, Philosophy, Architecture, the Arts of Painting and Navigation”, in An Apologie or Declaration of the Povver and Providence of God in the Government of the VVorld. [], 3rd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: [] William Turner [], OCLC 1015446249, book III, section 4 (Of the Art of Navigation, []), page 310:
          Nathaniel Carpenter [i.e., Nathanael Carpenter] late Fellow of Exceter Colledge in Oxford, in the ſecond booke and ſeventh chapter of his learned Geographicall concluſions, thus fully redargues that forgerie.
        • 1771, [Tobias Smollett], “To Mr. Henry Davis, Bookseller, in London”, in The Expedition of Humphry Clinker [], volume I, Dublin: [] A. Leathley, [], OCLC 753176271, page iii:
          [T]he objections you mention, I humbly conceive, are ſuch as may be redargued, if not entirely removed— []
        Synonym: counterargue
    2. (obsolete)
      1. Often followed by for or of: to censure, to rebuke, to reprove (someone or something).
      2. (rare) To argue (a case, proposition, etc.) against someone.
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To present a disproof or refutation of an argument, a person, etc.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ redarguen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ Compare “redargue, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021; “redargue, v.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of redarguō