What does refuse mean?

Definitions for refuse
ˈrɛf yusrefuse

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word refuse.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. garbage, refuse, food waste, scrapsverb

    food that is discarded (as from a kitchen)

  2. refuse, declineverb

    show unwillingness towards

    "he declined to join the group on a hike"

  3. refuse, reject, pass up, turn down, declineverb

    refuse to accept

    "He refused my offer of hospitality"

  4. defy, resist, refuseverb

    elude, especially in a baffling way

    "This behavior defies explanation"

  5. deny, refuseverb

    refuse to let have

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

  6. resist, reject, refuseverb

    resist immunologically the introduction of some foreign tissue or organ

    "His body rejected the liver of the donor"

  7. reject, turn down, turn away, refuseverb

    refuse entrance or membership

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Refuseadjective

    Unworthy of reception; left when the rest is taken.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Every thing vile and refuse they destroyed. Sam. xv. 9.

    Please to bestow on him the refuse letters; he hopes by printing them to get a plentiful provision. Spectator.

  2. Refusenoun

    That which remains disregarded when the rest is taken.

    We dare not disgrace our worldly superiours with offering unto them such refuse, as we bring unto God himself. Hook.

    Many kinds have much refuse, which countervails that which they have excellent. Francis Bacon.

    I know not whether it be more shame or wonder, to see that men can so put off ingenuity, as to descend to so base a vice; yet we daily see it done, and that not only by the scum and refuse of the people. Government of the Tongue.

    Down with the falling stream the refuse run,
    To raise with joyful news his drooping son. Dryden.

    This humourist keeps more than he wants, and gives a vast refuse of his superfluities to purchase heaven. Addison.

  3. To REFUSEverb

    Etymology: refuser, Fr.

    If he should chuse the right casket, you should refuse to perform his father’s will, if you should refuse to accept him. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    Common experience has justly a mighty influence on the minds of men, to make them give or refuse credit to any thing proposed. John Locke.

    Women are made as they themselves would choose;
    Too proud to ask, too humble to refuse. Samuel Garth.

    I may neither chuse whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

  4. To Refuseverb

    Not to accept.

    Wonder not then what God for you saw good
    If I refuse not, but convert, as you,
    To proper substance. John Milton.


  1. refuse

    Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance discarded after primary use, or is worthless, defective and of no use. A by-product, by contrast is a joint product of relatively minor economic value. A waste product may become a by-product, joint product or resource through an invention that raises a waste product's value above zero. Examples include municipal solid waste (household trash/refuse), hazardous waste, wastewater (such as sewage, which contains bodily wastes (feces and urine) and surface runoff), radioactive waste, and others.


  1. refuse

    Refuse generally refers to indicating or showing that one is not willing to do something. It can also be the act of rejecting or dismissing something. In the context of waste management, refuse refers to waste material or rubbish that has been discarded.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Refuseverb

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

  2. Refuseverb

    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. Refuseverb

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

  4. Refuseverb

    to disown

  5. Refuseverb

    to deny compliance; not to comply

  6. Refusenoun


  7. Refusenoun

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

  8. Refuseadjective

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

  9. Etymology: [F. refuser, either from (assumed) LL. refusare to refuse, v. freq. of L. refundere to pour back, give back, restore (see Refund to repay), or. fr. L. recusare to decline, refuse cf. Accuse, Ruse), influenced by L. refutare to drive back, repel, refute. Cf. Refute.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Refuse

    rē-fūz′, v.t. to reject: to deny, as a request, &c.: to disown: to fail to receive, to repel: (mil.) to hold troops back from the regular alignment.—v.i. to decline acceptance: not to comply.—adj. Refū′sable, capable of being refused.—ns. Refū′sal, denial of anything requested: rejection: the right of taking in preference to others; Rēfū′ser. [Fr. refuser, prob. due to confusion of L. refutāre, to drive back, recusāre, to make an objection against.]

  2. Refuse

    ref′ūs, adj. refused: worthless.—n. that which is rejected or left as worthless: dross.

  3. Refuse

    rē-fūz′, v.t. to melt again.—n. Rēfū′sion, repeated fusion or melting, as of metals: restoration.

Suggested Resources

  1. refuse

    Song lyrics by refuse -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by refuse on the Lyrics.com website.

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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

How to pronounce refuse?

How to say refuse in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of refuse in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of refuse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of refuse in a Sentence

  1. Ali Krieger:

    I refuse to respect a man that warrants no respect, i feel that staying silent at times can side with the oppressor and I didnt want her to feel like she was having to process this all alone, because a lot of us do have those similar feelings.

  2. Steve Scalise:

    The reports that there will be no new indictments confirm what we've known all along: there was never any collusion with Russia. The only collusion was between Democrats and many in the media who peddled this lie because they continue to refuse to accept the results of the 2016 election.

  3. The President:

    This ruling is also a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country, as long as I am The President, I will defend the sovereignty, safety, and security of the American People, and fight for an immigration system that serves the national interests of the United States and United States citizens. Our country will always be safe, secure, and protected on my watch.

  4. Jean-Paul Sartre:

    A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution.

  5. Jeannette Rankin:

    As a woman, I can't go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for refuse

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"refuse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 3 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/refuse>.

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    relating to or involving money
    • A. jejune
    • B. commensal
    • C. pecuniary
    • D. usurious

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