Dictionary

1refuse

verb re·fuse \ri-ˈfyüz\

: to say that you will not accept (something, such as a gift or offer)

: to say or show that you are not willing to do something that someone wants you to do

: to not allow someone to have (something)

re·fusedre·fus·ing

Full Definition of REFUSE

transitive verb
1
:  to express oneself as unwilling to accept <refuse a gift> <refuse a promotion>
2
a :  to show or express unwillingness to do or comply with <refused to answer the question>
b :  deny <they were refused admittance to the game>
3
obsolete :  give up, renounce <deny thy father and refuse thy name — Shakespeare>
4
of a horse :  to decline to jump or leap over
intransitive verb
:  to withhold acceptance, compliance, or permission
re·fus·er noun
ADVERTISEMENT

Examples of REFUSE

  1. When they offered me the money, I couldn't refuse.
  2. They asked her to help but she refused.

Origin of REFUSE

Middle English, from Anglo-French refuser, from Vulgar Latin *refusare, perhaps blend of Latin refutare to refute and recusare to demur — more at recuse
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of REFUSE

decline, refuse, reject, repudiate, spurn mean to turn away by not accepting, receiving, or considering. decline often implies courteous refusal especially of offers or invitations <declined his party's nomination>. refuse suggests more positiveness or ungraciousness and often implies the denial of something asked for <refused to lend them the money>. reject implies a peremptory refusal by sending away or discarding <rejected the manuscript as unpublishable>. repudiate implies a casting off or disowning as untrue, unauthorized, or unworthy of acceptance <teenagers who repudiate the values of their parents>. spurn stresses contempt or disdain in rejection or repudiation <spurned his overtures of friendship>.

2refuse

noun ref·use \ˈre-ˌfyüs, -ˌfyüz\

: something (such as paper or food waste) that has been thrown away : trash or garbage

Full Definition of REFUSE

1
:  the worthless or useless part of something :  leavings
2
:  trash, garbage

Examples of REFUSE

  1. <refuse had littered the playground until our volunteer group cleaned it up>

Origin of REFUSE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from refuser
First Known Use: 14th century

3refuse

adjective ref·use \ˈre-ˌfyüs, -ˌfyüz\

Definition of REFUSE

:  thrown aside or left as worthless

First Known Use of REFUSE

15th century
REFUSED Defined for Kids

1refuse

verb re·fuse \ri-ˈfyüz\
re·fusedre·fus·ing

Definition of REFUSE for Kids

1
:  to express unwillingness to accept :  turn down (something) <I refused the job.>
2
:  to express or show unwillingness to do, give, or allow something <They refused to help.>

2refuse

noun ref·use \ˈre-ˌfyüs\

Definition of REFUSE for Kids

:  trash 1, rubbish

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: refusenikPrevious Word in the Dictionary: refusalAll Words Near: refuse
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears