disprove a person

Discussion in 'English Only' started by boozer, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. boozer Senior Member

    Hi again, friends!

    I have this small question about a specific use of the verb "to disprove". Please look at the following example:

    "All your theories have been refuted. You have been disproved."

    I know what the dictionaries say. According to them, we can only disprove theories/ideas/clams etc. but not a person. In this example, however, to "disprove a person" actually means to "disprove the person's theories".

    So, is it wrong to say that? I believe I've heard/seen such untypical uses many times but...
  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    It's not a common phrasing. "You have been proven wrong" is far more common.
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Not quite all the dictionaries ... from the OED:
    To prove (a person) to be untrue or erroneous in his statements; to convict (a person) of falsehood or error; to refute, confute. Obs. or arch.

    Note the tags at the end - obsolete or archaic.
    If you don't mind being a little obsolete or archaic, you're OK :)

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