[verb ri-jekt; noun ree-jekt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to refuse to have, take, recognize, etc.: to reject the offer of a better job.
  2. to refuse to grant (a request, demand, etc.).
  3. to refuse to accept (someone or something); rebuff: The other children rejected him. The publisher rejected the author's latest novel.
  4. to discard as useless or unsatisfactory: The mind rejects painful memories.
  5. to cast out or eject; vomit.
  6. to cast out or off.
  7. Medicine/Medical. (of a human or other animal) to have an immunological reaction against (a transplanted organ or grafted tissue): If tissue types are not matched properly, a patient undergoing a transplant will reject the graft.
  1. something rejected, as an imperfect article.

Origin of reject

1485–95; (v.) < Latin rējectus, past participle of rējicere to throw back, equivalent to re- re- + jec-, combining form of jacere to throw + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsre·ject·a·ble, adjectivere·ject·er, nounre·jec·tive, adjectivepre·re·ject, verb (used with object)qua·si-re·ject·ed, adjectiveun·re·ject·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·ject·ed, adjectiveun·re·jec·tive, adjective

Synonyms for reject

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1. See refuse1. 1, 2. deny. 3. repel, renounce. 4. eliminate, jettison. 8. second. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rejected

jilted, abandoned, forsaken, deserted, returned, shunned, denied

Examples from the Web for rejected

Contemporary Examples of rejected

Historical Examples of rejected

  • All pursuits that serve to connect the soul with the world whence it came are rejected.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • It will not be sufficient that the rash counsels of human passion are rejected.

  • He had given back to her the gift of life, which she had rejected.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The night before, he had proposed to a girl and had been rejected.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • "Cheer up, Mary, for I seek to comfort you," answered the rejected lover.

    The Wives of The Dead

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

British Dictionary definitions for rejected


verb (rɪˈdʒɛkt) (tr)
  1. to refuse to accept, acknowledge, use, believe, etc
  2. to throw out as useless or worthless; discard
  3. to rebuff (a person)
  4. (of an organism) to fail to accept (a foreign tissue graft or organ transplant) because of immunological incompatibility
noun (ˈriːdʒɛkt)
  1. something rejected as imperfect, unsatisfactory, or useless
Derived Formsrejectable, adjectiverejecter or rejector, nounrejection, nounrejective, adjective

Word Origin for reject

C15: from Latin rēicere to throw back, from re- + jacere to hurl
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 rejected



early 15c., from Old French rejecter and directly from Latin reiectus, past participle of reiectare "throw away, cast away, vomit," frequentative of reicere "to throw back," from re- "back" (see re-) + -icere, comb. form of iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Related: Rejected; rejecting.



1550s, "a castaway" (rare), from reject (v.). Modern use probably a re-formation of the same word: "thing cast aside as unsatisfactory" (1893); "person considered low-quality and worthless" (1925, from use in militaries).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rejected in Medicine


  1. To refuse to accept, submit to, believe, or use something.
  2. To discard as defective or useless; throw away.
  3. To spit out or vomit.
  4. To resist immunologically introduction of a transplanted organ or tissue; fail to accept in one's body.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.