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discredit (verb) defame; disbelieve.
When you discredit a person you do something that makes people respect them the less, stop believing them, and make them less trustworthy. You say something bad about a person so that people no more respect them or trust them. Then you discredit them. A theory or a belief that is discredited is a theory no longer found correct. With the advent of Darwinism a number of beliefs about the origin of species till then thought correct were proved wrong. That is, they were discredited.
- Sometimes media come out with all false reports and even photographs of a person, just to discredit them, and this they do, so that the person might lose the respect of the people. The Watergate scandal not only discredited President Nixon but also cost him his job.
- Newton's wave theory of the propagation of light stood discredited with the propounding of the particle theory of light.