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to expose, to reveal the truth


debunk = entlarven, widerlegen---GOOGLE INDEXdebunk: approximately 4,000,000 Google hits



As executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, Chris Voight is trying to DEBUNK perceptions that potatoes are unhealthy and instead are a good source of fibre, potassium and vitamin C.

(BBC News)

Canadian scientists help DEBUNK controversial "arsenic life" theory


Did you


- to show that something is less important, less good or less true than it has been made to appear

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

Debunk is constructed from the prefix "de" (to remove) and the word "bunk" (nonsense, something that is not true). As the American Heritage Dictionary points out, "bunk" stemmed from a place known for a lot of bunk: the United States Congress. In the early 19th century, a congressional representative from North Carolina, whose district included Buncombe Country, held an extremely dull speech in the face of protests by his colleagues.

Walker later explained he had felt obligated "to make a speech for Buncombe." Such a masterful symbol for empty talk could not be ignored by English speakers and Buncombe, spelled Bunkum in its first recorded appearance in 1828 and later shortened to bunk, became synonymous with a lot of hot air.

Debunk, which first appeared in 1923, is generally thought to have been the creation of novelist William E. Woodward in his novel Bunk, which exposed the hollow and overblown family and social life of a wealthy automobile maker. Woodward later went on to debunk several historical figures such as America's first president George Washington.


demystify, expose, uncloak, unmask, puncture

SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation

"Experts have debunked many of the popular diet programs."

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