refuse

verb
re·​fuse | \ ri-ˈfyüz How to pronounce refuse (audio) \
refused; refusing

Definition of refuse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to express oneself as unwilling to accept refuse a gift refuse a promotion
2a : to show or express unwillingness to do or comply with refused to answer the question
b : to not allow someone to have or do (something) : deny they were refused admittance to the game
3 obsolete : give up, renounce deny thy father and refuse thy name— William Shakespeare
4 of a horse : to decline to jump or leap over

intransitive verb

: to withhold acceptance, compliance, or permission

refuse

noun
ref·​use | \ ˈre-ˌfyüs How to pronounce refuse (audio) , -ˌfyüz \

Definition of refuse (Entry 2 of 3)

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

refuse

adjective
ref·​use | \ ˈre-ˌfyüs How to pronounce refuse (audio) , -ˌfyüz \

Definition of refuse (Entry 3 of 3)

: thrown aside or left as worthless

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Other Words from refuse

Verb

refuser noun

Choose the Right Synonym for refuse

Verb

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

Examples of refuse in a Sentence

Verb When they offered me the money, I couldn't refuse. They asked her to help but she refused. Noun refuse had littered the playground until our volunteer group cleaned it up
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Wednesday the state was prepared to fight any subpoenas issued for election materials and called on counties to refuse Mastriano’s request. Alison Durkee, Forbes, 7 July 2021 Shortly before the playoffs, however, ESPN executives said that if Taylor continued to refuse to interact with Nichols on air, no reporters would be allowed on the show live. New York Times, 4 July 2021 First up are Crystal's kids Zoe (5) and Max (8), who make guest appearances during her kickboxing lesson to refuse kickboxing and therefore showering (Zoe) and to throw a few punches (Max). Mary Sollosi, EW.com, 2 July 2021 When a deposition is taken in a civil case, the right against self-incrimination allows a witness to refuse to answer any questions that might lead to criminal liability. Erwin Chemerinsky, Star Tribune, 1 July 2021 To take part in the FHFC program, for example, landlords had to waive late fees and agree not to raise rent through January 2021, while also pledging not to refuse lease renewals for tenants who fell behind on rent or report them to credit agencies. Caroline Glenn, orlandosentinel.com, 30 June 2021 All 144 players of the WNBA were going to refuse to play their upcoming games in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Fortune, 24 June 2021 White drivers were significantly more likely to refuse a search than Black drivers, the report said. oregonlive, 22 June 2021 The Texas Workforce Commission on Wednesday rescinded a pandemic practice that gave unemployed workers the ability to refuse job offers on medical grounds. Alexandra Skores, Dallas News, 9 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The quiet resignation of shopkeepers like Mr. Gulzada has echoed for some time in Bagram, a town of grape vineyards and an economy dependent on the refuse of an airport used by two superpowers in the past 40 years. New York Times, 3 July 2021 The ordinance guarantees free trash pickup for those in single-family homes, but many in multifamily housing have had to pay a franchise hauler, such as EDCO or Waste Management, to pick up and dispose of refuse. Joshua Emerson Smith, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 June 2021 The Skokie Village Board passed the village’s 2022 budget last week, a move that includes a water rate hike and a new refuse collection fee. Brian L. Cox, chicagotribune.com, 29 June 2021 The company services sectors such as construction, refuse, fire, public transportation, and the military. Q.ai - Investing Reimagined, Forbes, 28 June 2021 Brennan has stated his belief that the city should keep refuse collection in-house, but that a switch to automated collection should be made. cleveland, 22 June 2021 The Arrowhead Landfill is permitted to accept refuse from across the country and took in 4 million tons of coal ash waste from the 2008 TVA Kingston spill, spurring local protests. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, 27 May 2021 But one idea is that the cold temperatures of the time, known as the little ice age, made food scarce and caused animals that normally might have been foraging in the wild to turn to human settlements to steal food or prowl for refuse. New York Times, 11 May 2021 Their warehouses, set in a large dirt yard in Atatra, in the northern part of the strip, were now a horror show of toxic pink goop, still-smoking piles of refuse and an evil-looking ooze pool. Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refuse.' 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 refuse

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for refuse

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French refuser, from Vulgar Latin *refusare, perhaps blend of Latin refutare to refute and recusare to demur — more at recuse

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from refuser

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Learn More About refuse

Time Traveler for refuse

Time Traveler

The first known use of refuse was in the 14th century

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Statistics for refuse

Last Updated

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Refuse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refuse. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for refuse

refuse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of refuse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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)

refuse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of refuse (Entry 2 of 2)

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

refuse

verb
re·​fuse | \ ri-ˈfyüz How to pronounce refuse (audio) \
refused; refusing

Kids Definition of refuse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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.

refuse

noun
ref·​use | \ ˈre-ˌfyüs How to pronounce refuse (audio) \

Kids Definition of refuse (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on refuse

Nglish: Translation of refuse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refuse for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about refuse

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