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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Moreno said breeders who refuse that request may run a puppy mill — a breeding facility that focuses on quick breeding and often neglects the care or condition of the animals. Antonio Arredondo, oregonlive, 5 Aug. 2022 Parents who refuse to accept the guidance of the medical community shouldn't have the right to make all our kids less safe. Kara Alaimo, CNN, 3 Aug. 2022 The committee has not been shy about referring for potential prosecution witnesses who refuse to cooperate. Eric Tucker And Mary Clare Jalonick, Anchorage Daily News, 23 July 2022 The committee has not been shy about referring for potential prosecution witnesses who refuse to cooperate. Mary Clare Jalonick, BostonGlobe.com, 22 July 2022 Some have workers who refuse to sell products which contribute to reproductive rights, medication used for miscarriages or legal abortions. Sara Edwards, USA TODAY, 21 July 2022 Banks in China are being instructed to help the country’s beleaguered property developers fund some real estate projects amid a widening boycott by homebuyers who refuse to pay mortgages on unfinished houses. Reuters, NBC News, 18 July 2022 In the years since his byline first appeared in The New Yorker in 2006, Patrick Radden Keefe has become known for his revealing portraits of powerful people who refuse to speak to him. Ava Kofman, ProPublica, 18 July 2022 One hurdle, in hundreds of communities, has been law enforcement agencies who refuse to enforce the rule. Kimberly Kindy, Washington Post, 18 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The contract with Republic Services includes weekly refuse, recycling and yard waste (from April to mid-November) pickups, as well as monthly bulk collections. John Benson, cleveland, 13 June 2022 The Aurora City Council is set to vote on an extension of its waste collection contract with Groot Industries Inc. for refuse, recyclables and yard waste. Steve Lord, chicagotribune.com, 8 Dec. 2021 Police who had conducted an eight-hour search of medical refuse at Republic Waste transfer station on Howard Avenue in Roxbury followed up with another search of the site based on the pathologist’s comments. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 23 June 2022 This is seventeen and one half pounds per year of ‘hard stuff,’ mingled with sand, stems, impure molasses, olive oil, chips and concentrated dirt and refuse of all kinds. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, 21 Sep. 2021 Covered in refuse, empty oxygen bottles, even human remains, the peak now sees hundreds of summit attempts each spring, paid by fees of some $50,000 per client. Michael O’donnell, WSJ, 25 May 2022 The current contract with Republic Services includes weekly refuse, recycling and yard waste (from April to mid-November) pickups, as well as monthly bulk collections. John Benson, cleveland, 6 Apr. 2022 Yard waste bags set out with garbage will be picked up for free — no refuse sticker required — on residents’ regular pickup days the weeks of March 21 and 28. Mike Danahey, chicagotribune.com, 8 Mar. 2022 Officers advised him that the refuse company would replace it if necessary. cleveland, 5 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for refuse

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near refuse

refusal

refuse

refusenik

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Statistics for refuse

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Refuse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refuse. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for refuse

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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