Definitions for refuseˈrɛf yus

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word refuse

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

re•fuse*rɪˈfyuz(v.)-fused, -fus•ing.

  1. (v.t.)to decline to accept (something offered).

  2. to decline to give; deny (a request, demand, etc.).

  3. to express a determination not to (do something):

    to refuse to discuss an issue.

  4. to decline to submit to.

  5. to decline to accept (a suitor) in marriage.

  6. (of a horse) to decline to leap over (a barrier).

  7. Obs. to renounce.

  8. (v.i.)to decline acceptance, consent, or compliance.

* Syn: refuse , reject , spurn , decline imply nonacceptance of something. refuse is direct and emphatic in expressing a determination not to accept what is offered or proposed: to refuse an offer of help. reject is even more forceful and definite: to reject an author's manuscript. To spurn is to reject with scorn: to spurn a bribe. decline is a milder and more courteous term: to decline an invitation.

Origin of refuse:

1300–50; ME < MF refuser, OF < VL *refūsāre, perh. b. L recūsāre to demur (see recusant ) and refūtāre to refute


ref•useˈrɛf yus(n.)

  1. something that is discarded as worthless or useless; rubbish; trash; garbage.

  2. (adj.)rejected as worthless; discarded.

Origin of refuse:

1325–75; ME < MF; OF refus denial, rejection

Princeton's WordNet

  1. garbage, refuse, food waste, scraps(verb)

    food that is discarded (as from a kitchen)

  2. refuse, decline(verb)

    show unwillingness towards

    "he declined to join the group on a hike"

  3. refuse, reject, pass up, turn down, decline(verb)

    refuse to accept

    "He refused my offer of hospitality"

  4. defy, resist, refuse(verb)

    elude, especially in a baffling way

    "This behavior defies explanation"

  5. deny, refuse(verb)

    refuse to let have

    "She denies me every pleasure"; "he denies her her weekly allowance"

  6. resist, reject, refuse(verb)

    resist immunologically the introduction of some foreign tissue or organ

    "His body rejected the liver of the donor"

  7. reject, turn down, turn away, refuse(verb)

    refuse entrance or membership

    "They turned away hundreds of fans"; "Black people were often rejected by country clubs"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. refuse(verb)ˈrɛf yus

    to say you will not do or accept sth

    If they ask me to pay any more, I'll refuse.; Why did they refuse her offer of help?; She refused to sign the documents.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Refuse(verb)

    to deny, as a request, demand, invitation, or command; to decline to do or grant

  2. Refuse(verb)

    to throw back, or cause to keep back (as the center, a wing, or a flank), out of the regular aligment when troops ar/ about to engage the enemy; as, to refuse the right wing while the left wing attacks

  3. Refuse(verb)

    to decline to accept; to reject; to deny the request or petition of; as, to refuse a suitor

  4. Refuse(verb)

    to disown

  5. Refuse(verb)

    to deny compliance; not to comply

  6. Refuse(noun)


  7. Refuse(noun)

    that which is refused or rejected as useless; waste or worthless matter

  8. Refuse(adj)

    refused; rejected; hence; left as unworthy of acceptance; of no value; worthless

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'refuse' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4220

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'refuse' in Verbs Frequency: #218

Translations for refuse

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


not to do what one has been asked, told or is expected to do

He refused to help me; She refused to believe what I said; When I asked him to leave, he refused.

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