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

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 More than a dozen AI researchers from African countries have been refused visas to attend this year’s NeurIPS, to be held next month in Vancouver. Wired, "African AI Experts Get Excluded From a Conference—Again," 8 Nov. 2019 Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s leader, has refused to authorize an independent inquiry into police actions, a key demand of protesters. Washington Post, "With student’s death, Hong Kong protests enter perilous new phase," 8 Nov. 2019 Petsche has refused to resign from council or drop out of the mayor’s race. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Mayor Hruby re-elected in Brecksville," 6 Nov. 2019 While Beshear declared victory, Bevin has refused to concede, and a recount is possible. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Kentucky rain: Donald Trump looks on the bright side of election night results," 6 Nov. 2019 Since its inception a few years ago, DAZN has refused to give out numbers on how many fans spend either $20 a month or $100 a year for the fights. Tim Dahlberg, The Denver Post, "Dahlberg: Fans get played as boxing takes back seat to UFC," 5 Nov. 2019 But the 57-year-old former Papa John's pitchman has refused to let his company completely move on from his tenure, repeatedly questioning its leaders' strategy and direction in public statements, news releases and through the press. Chauncey Alcorn, CNN, "Papa John's is still haunted by its founder using the n-word," 5 Nov. 2019 The Army, so far, has refused to give his son a Purple Heart. Keith Bierygolick, Cincinnati.com, "10 years after Fort Hood: The forgotten soldier, and the father who is still fighting his war," 5 Nov. 2019 Despite requests from Biden’s campaign to remove the advertisement, Facebook has refused. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Twitter Is Banning Political Ads Ahead of the 2020 Election," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun What started as just two friends picking up trash near Torrance in June has morphed into groups of 20 to 50 roaming Venice, Dockweiler and Santa Monica beaches in pursuit of refuse. Burbank Leader, "Climate change, local efforts highlight United Nations discussion at Woodbury University," 18 Oct. 2019 There will be no refuse collection on Thursday, July 4. Other Voices, cleveland.com, "Shaker Heights city offices, municipal court closed July 4, 5: Community Voices," 24 June 2019 The owners of the adjacent farm sued Yasgur for $35,000, charging that large numbers of concertgoers used their property as a site of shelter and defecation and left their property strewn with refuse. Ray Cavanaugh, Time, "Max Yasgur Rented Out His Farm for Woodstock. His Neighbors Sued Him," 14 Aug. 2019 According to court documents, two city workers driving a large refuse hauler failed to see two cars at a dead stop near the end of the on-ramp — a pick-up truck and Michael DiSenso’s jeep. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego paying out $3M to man injured in crash with city trash truck," 23 July 2019 Worst of all, most of these items are actually designed to be disposable, destined to fester atop a repulsive mountain of refuse. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "Can Big Beauty Go Green? One Writer Tries to Save the Planet (and Have Her Powder Too)," 29 Aug. 2019 At the base was an overturned tricycle and, at the top, a few empty Corona bottles, but otherwise the area was free of refuse. Rachel Poser, Harper's magazine, "Common Ground," 19 Aug. 2019 Barnett said the end result could have been a termination of city pickup, with residents forced to contract for refuse collection on their own. Brian Lisik, cleveland.com, "Brunswick curbside recycling program working through bumps in the road," 13 Aug. 2019 The bear seemed to have been attracted to the scent of refuse. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Bear Escapes House With a Dramatic Exit That Would Make the Kool-Aid Man Proud," 12 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for refuse

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce refuse (audio)

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
How to pronounce refuse (audio)

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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Comments on refuse

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