[ ri-fyooz ]
/ rɪˈfyuz /
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verb (used with object), re·fused, re·fus·ing.
to decline to accept (something offered): to refuse an award.
to decline to give; deny (a request, demand, etc.): to refuse permission.
to express a determination not to (do something): to refuse to discuss the question.
to decline to submit to.
(of a horse) to decline to leap over (a barrier).
to decline to accept (a suitor) in marriage.
Military. to bend or curve back (the flank units of a military force) so that they face generally to the flank rather than the front.
Obsolete. to renounce.
verb (used without object), re·fused, re·fus·ing.
to decline acceptance, consent, or compliance.
OTHER WORDS FOR refuse
OPPOSITES FOR refuse
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Origin of refuse1
First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English refusen, from Middle French refuser, Old French ultimately from Latin refūsus, past participle of refundere “to pour back”; see refund1
synonym study for refuse
1. Refuse, decline, reject, spurn all imply nonacceptance of something. To decline is milder and more courteous than to refuse, which is direct and often emphatic in expressing determination not to accept what is offered or proposed: to refuse a bribe; to decline an invitation. To reject is even more positive and definite than refuse : to reject a suitor. To spurn is to reject with scorn: to spurn a bribe.
OTHER WORDS FROM refuse
re·fus·a·ble, adjectivere·fus·er, nounqua·si-re·fused, adjectiveun·re·fus·a·ble, adjective
un·re·fused, adjectiveun·re·fus·ing, adjective
Other definitions for refuse (2 of 2)
[ ref-yoos ]
/ ˈrɛf yus /
rejected as worthless; discarded: refuse matter.
Origin of refuse2
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English from Middle French, Old French refus “dross, waste,” derivative of refuser to refuse1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use refuse in a sentence
The people of Cyprus, and their elected representatives, declined this unrefusable offer.The Resolution of the Cyprus Banking Collapse Paves the Way for More Crises|Robert Shapiro|April 1, 2013|DAILY BEAST
British Dictionary definitions for refuse (1 of 2)
/ (rɪˈfjuːz) /
(tr) to decline to accept (something offered)to refuse a present; to refuse promotion
to decline to give or grant (something) to (a person, organization, etc)
(when tr, takes an infinitive) to express determination not (to do something); declinehe refuses to talk about it
(of a horse) to be unwilling to take (a jump), as by swerving or stopping
(tr) (of a woman) to declare one's unwillingness to accept (a suitor) as a husband
Derived forms of refuserefusable, adjectiverefuser, noun
Word Origin for refuse
C14: from Old French refuser, from Latin refundere to pour back; see refund
British Dictionary definitions for refuse (2 of 2)
/ (ˈrɛfjuːs) /
- anything thrown away; waste; rubbish
- (as modifier)a refuse collection
Word Origin for refuse
C15: from Old French refuser to refuse 1
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