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[ri-fyoo-zuh l] /rɪˈfyu zəl/
an act or instance of refusing.
priority in refusing or taking something; option.
complete resistance of a driven pile to further driving.
Origin of refusal
late Middle English
First recorded in 1425-75, refusal is from the late Middle English word refusell. See refuse1, -al2
Related forms
prerefusal, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for refusal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was this refusal which made Halbert discontented and unhappy.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • What have you to do to oblige him with your refusal of Mr. Solmes?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Garson shook his head in refusal, but there was no conviction in the act.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • The man met her pleading eyes steadily, and shook his head in refusal.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • I didn't think it necessary to correct him as to my refusal of the Earl.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
British Dictionary definitions for refusal


the act or an instance of refusing
the opportunity to reject or accept; option
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for refusal

late 15c., from refuse + -al (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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