[ noun ri-buhf, ree-buhf; verb ri-buhf ]
/ noun rɪˈbʌf, ˈri bʌf; verb rɪˈbʌf /


a blunt or abrupt rejection, as of a person making advances.
a peremptory refusal of a request, offer, etc.; snub.
a check to action or progress.

verb (used with object)

to give a rebuff to; check; repel; refuse; drive away.

Nearby words

  1. rebranding,
  2. rebreathing,
  3. rebreathing anesthesia,
  4. rebreathing technique,
  5. rebroadcast,
  6. rebuild,
  7. rebuke,
  8. rebus,
  9. rebus sic stantibus,
  10. rebut

Origin of rebuff

1580–90; < Middle French rebuffer < Italian ribuffare to disturb, reprimand, derivative of ribuffo (noun), equivalent to ri- re- + buffo puff; see buffoon

Related formsre·buff·a·ble, adjectivere·buff·a·bly, adverbun·re·buff·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·buffed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rebuff

British Dictionary definitions for rebuff


/ (rɪˈbʌf) /

verb (tr)

to snub, reject, or refuse (a person offering help or sympathy, an offer of help, etc) abruptly or out of hand
to beat back (an attack); repel


a blunt refusal or rejection; snub
any sudden check to progress or action

Word Origin for rebuff

C16: from Old French rebuffer, from Italian ribuffare, from ribuffo a reprimand, from ri- re- + buffo puff, gust, apparently of imitative origin

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

Word Origin and History for rebuff
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper