rebuff

play
verb re·buff \ ri-ˈbəf \

Definition of rebuff

transitive verb
:to reject or criticize sharply :snub

rebuff

noun

rebuff was our Word of the Day on 09/20/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of rebuff in a Sentence

  1. Our suggestion was immediately rebuffed.

  2. The company rebuffed the bid.

  3. She rebuffed him when he asked her for a date.

Recent Examples of rebuff from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of rebuff

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


REBUFF Defined for English Language Learners

rebuff

play
verb

Definition of rebuff for English Language Learners

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


REBUFF Defined for Kids

1

rebuff

play
verb re·buff \ ri-ˈbəf \

Definition of rebuff for Students

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

2

rebuff

noun

Definition of rebuff for Students

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


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