Part of speech:
(Like “eat,” “try,” and “want,” all transitive verbs do something to an object.
You eat a banana, try a game, and want a new phone.
Likewise, you debunk something.)
To debunk something is to show that it's wrong or reveal that it's just a sham. When you debunk something, you're also making fun of it or criticizing it at the same time.
("Bunk" or "bunkum" means "nonsense," so debunking something means you're removing the nonsense from it.)
debunked, debunking, debunker
How to use it:
You debunk an accusation, an argument, an assertion, an assumption, a belief, a claim, a conspiracy, an idea, an inference, a myth, a notion, a report, a rumor, a sentiment, a statement, a study, a theory, etc.
The notion that all women ought to be homemakers only was long ago debunked for me as I was growing up. In fact, I remember my mom giving me a bookmark that read, "A Woman's Place is In the House... and the Senate."
The image of chess players as monomaniacal, antisocial nerds has been thoroughly debunked--in fact, competitive chess is a lively, social, and creative world.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "debunk” means when you can explain it without saying “expose" or “mockingly disprove."
Think of a lie, a rumor, an exaggeration, or a mistaken idea that you know some people believe, then fill in the blank: "We really need to debunk the idea that _____."
Example: "We really need to debunk the idea that journalists accurately report scientific research."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for May is: “What Do These Words Have in Common?”
The three words given will have something specific in common. (More than one right answer might be possible, but I've only got one particular answer in mind for each set of words.) I've arranged the questions from easiest to hardest, so today’s is the absolute most difficult question.
What do these words have in common?: tranquilizingly, squeezabilities, ventriloquizing
Answer: All are 15-letter words (which would take up the full length of a row or column on a Scrabble board) that each contain the two highest-scoring letters in Scrabble: Q and Z. “Hey!” you say. “You only get 7 letters at a time in Scrabble! Plus I looked those up in the Scrabble dictionary and…” Touché, readers. But get ready for this final, most difficult question…
Try this last one today: outlook, literature, pain.
A Point Well Made:
Søren Kierkegaard: "Of all ridiculous things, the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work."
1. The opposite of DEBUNK is
2. The debunked theory that we only use a small portion of our brainpower _____.
A. provides a strong framework for additional research
B. is nevertheless not only accepted but held dear among much of the public
C. helps truthfully explain why almost no one reaches his true potential in everyday life
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.