re·buff | \ri-ˈbəf \
rebuffed; rebuffing; rebuffs

Definition of rebuff 

transitive verb

: to reject or criticize sharply : snub

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Other Words from rebuff

rebuff noun

Did You Know?

Occurring frequently in news articles and headlines, rebuff derives (via Middle French rebuffer) from Old Italian ribuffare, meaning "to reprimand," and ultimately from the imitative verb buffare, meaning "to puff." (You might guess that the verb buff, meaning "to polish," is a "buffare" descendant, but it is actually unrelated.) A similar word, "rebuke," shares the "criticize" sense of "rebuff," but not the "reject" sense (one can rebuke another's actions or policies, but one does not rebuke the advances of another, for example). Like "rebuke," "rebuff" can also be used as a noun, as in "His proposal was met with a stern rebuff from the Board of Trustees."

Examples of rebuff in a Sentence

Our suggestion was immediately rebuffed. The company rebuffed the bid. She rebuffed him when he asked her for a date.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The judge did not agree to call Navy Adm. Kurt Tidd, the commander who supposedly rebuffed Rishikof's request for fresh aerial imagery of the war court compound. Carol Rosenberg, miamiherald, "Judge orders top Pentagon lawyer to testify about alleged meddling in the 9/11 case | Miami Herald," 23 May 2018 Qatar rebuffed multiple requests by Jared Kushner to invest in his family's financially troubled NYC skyscraper, 666 Fifth Avenue. Jeff Darcy,, "State of Kasich: Darcy cartoon," 8 Mar. 2018 Bobby Butler went last, and when Francouz rebuffed him, the Czechs exulted. Adam Kilgore, Anchorage Daily News, "Blanked by the Czechs in a shootout, US men’s hockey team is out of the Olympics," 21 Feb. 2018 It's been almost two decades since the Forest Hills Board of Education rebuffed the request from the American Indian Movement to change the school's mascot. Jennie Key,, "Chief Wahoo is about to be retired. Will Anderson Redskins name be next?," 30 Jan. 2018 Dearborn forwarded this latter proposal to Trump’s son-in-law and top campaign aide, Jared Kushner, who rebuffed it. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Collusion 3.0: Russia and the NRA," 20 Jan. 2018 On Thursday morning, the entreaties of lower ranking CIA officials to the AP and Washington Post not to publish the story were rebuffed. Jeff Stein, Newsweek, "The FBI’s Own Hostage Crisis," 19 Dec. 2013 So far they have been rebuffed in their attempts to procure a deal for a top-five pick with the Sacramento Kings (who pick second), Atlanta Hawks (third), Memphis Grizzlies (fourth) and Dallas Mavericks (fifth). Broderick Turner,, "Clippers still looking to move up in the NBA draft, or get two quality picks at 12th and 13th," 19 June 2018 When Elliott announced its bid for athenahealth last month, the hedge fund noted that its offer to buy the company last year had been rebuffed. Andy Rosen,, "Jonathan Bush steps down from athenahealth," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rebuff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rebuff

circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rebuff

Middle French rebuffer, from Old Italian ribuffare to reprimand, from ribuffo reprimand

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Statistics for rebuff

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rebuff

The first known use of rebuff was circa 1586

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More Definitions for rebuff



English Language Learners Definition of rebuff

: to refuse (something, such as an offer or suggestion) in a rude way


re·buff | \ri-ˈbəf \
rebuffed; rebuffing

Kids Definition of rebuff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to refuse (something) in a sharp or rude way His suggestion was rebuffed.



Kids Definition of rebuff (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sharp or rude refusal of something (as an offer)

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Comments on rebuff

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