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

As phones, computers and other electronics have grown ever smaller, their optical components have stubbornly refused to shrink. Alberto Moscatelli, Scientific American, "Tiny Lenses Will Enable Design of Miniature Optical Devices," 1 July 2019 After initially refusing point-blank, Sean grudgingly concedes to the pilgrimage and the pair fly off to Dublin. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'End of Sentence': Film Review | Edinburgh 2019," 30 June 2019 In others, parents have refused to take custody of their children, due to harmful behaviors. Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, "Department of Child Safety doesn't want to house youth who have committed crimes. New law gives time to find alternatives," 27 June 2019 When his father refused to give him permission, the 14-year-old and two friends, who were brothers, decided to run away from their Michigan homes and attend anyway. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Rancho Bernardo centenarian experienced many adventures," 27 June 2019 After stripping the backseat and the trunk of its many parts, the Model 3 refused to start. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "YouTuber Simone Giertz transformed a Tesla Model 3 into a pickup truck," 18 June 2019 Aftermarket prices have already cratered for Huawei phones, and some trade-in shops are refusing to accept Huawei devices. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Huawei bracing for a 40% to 60% drop in international smartphone shipments," 17 June 2019 The guard and patron who were struck were taken to area hospitals for treatment and the guard who was grazed refused treatment, according to reports. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "Son of Harvey cop shot security guards, patron before being killed, sheriff's investigation finds," 14 June 2019 He was met with skepticism, but refused to compromise on his core vision: connecting people with nature. Diana Budds, Curbed, "This suburban utopia is all about worshipping nature," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Japan, which has cultivated just this rubbish acumen, is hoping to cash in on the refuse boom. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Japan wants to become Southeast Asia’s trash manager," 23 June 2019 No substances had been added that would chemically alter the refuse, MIRA officials said. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "State police expect to end weekslong search of Hartford trash plant, which they say hasn’t yielded any key evidence in case of missing New Canaan mother Jennifer Farber Dulos," 19 June 2019 Some streets and sidewalks are still strewn with debris, and flies buzz over garbage cans overflowing with refuse. Sarah Meehan, baltimoresun.com, "You asked: Why is there so much litter in Baltimore? We dug into the city's trash problem.," 18 June 2019 In the 2018 fiscal year, the first year of the trial period, the town collected a total of 18,674 tons of refuse and recycled 7,269 tons — or 28 percent — of that total. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "West Hartford modifies recycling schedule, adds yard waste collection," 17 June 2019 The refuse was mislabeled as recyclable plastics when it was sent years ago to the Philippines, which recently insisted Canada take it back. Michelle Krupa, CNN, "Start your Monday smart: SEAL trial, Hope Hicks, Guatemala, Canada, 'Toy Story 4'," 16 June 2019 The former refuse to take foreigners seriously and have a strong sense of national unity. Sahil Handa, National Review, "Reclaiming Britishness from the Brexit Debacle," 10 June 2019 The contract also calls for an increase in the monthly household refuse collection charge from $17.41 to $19.30. Brian Lisik, cleveland.com, "Brunswick residents can talk about trash on Saturday at public hearing on curbside recycling," 3 June 2019 Marnell Gibson, public works director, said her department is proposing a 1% rate increase for refuse services, which would mean about a $0.33 hike per month for most residents. Anthony Clark Carpio, latimes.com, "Burbank officials begin proposed budget review," 5 May 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near refuse

refurnish

refusable

refusal

refuse

refusenik

refusible

refusion

Statistics for refuse

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for refuse

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

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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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on refuse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with refuse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for refuse

Spanish Central: Translation of refuse

Nglish: Translation of refuse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refuse for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about refuse

Comments on refuse

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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