reject

verb
re·​ject | \ ri-ˈjekt How to pronounce reject (audio) \
rejected; rejecting; rejects

Definition of reject

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use rejected the suggestion reject a manuscript
b : to refuse to hear, receive, or admit : rebuff, repel parents who reject their children
c : to refuse as lover or spouse
2 obsolete : to cast off
4 : to spew out
5 : to subject to immunological rejection

reject

noun
re·​ject | \ ˈrē-ˌjekt How to pronounce reject (audio) \

Definition of reject (Entry 2 of 2)

: a rejected person or thing especially : one rejected as not wanted, unsatisfactory, or not fulfilling requirements

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Other Words from reject

Verb

rejecter or rejector \ ri-​ˈjek-​tər How to pronounce rejector (audio) \ noun
rejectingly \ ri-​ˈjek-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce rejectingly (audio) \ adverb
rejective \ ri-​ˈjek-​tiv How to pronounce rejective (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for reject

Synonyms: Verb

decline, deny, disallow, disapprove, negative, nix, refuse, reprobate, withhold

Synonyms: Noun

castaway, castoff, leper, offscouring, outcast, pariah

Antonyms: Verb

allow, concede, grant, let, OK (or okay), permit

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Choose the Right Synonym for reject

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 reject in a Sentence

Verb

My teacher rejected my excuse for being late. The committee rejected my proposal. The produce inspector rejected several crates of berries that had begun to grow mold. The college rejects hundreds of applicants each year. We rejected 5 of the 10 job applicants right away.

Noun

Stack the promising applications here, and put the rejects over there. was the school reject as a child and has low self-esteem even today
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Parents said the mistake caused heartache for some high-achieving eighth-graders whose top choice was New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies in Manhattan and who were rejected last month. ... Leslie Brody, WSJ, "Top New York City School Makes Big Admissions Error," 9 Apr. 2019 The text will be tweaked in upcoming negotiations, and the directive has a slim chance of being rejected altogether at another vote from the whole European Parliament 2019. James Vincent, The Verge, "Everything you need to know about Europe’s new copyright directive," 13 Sep. 2018 The one bit of bad news for legal marijuana came from North Dakota, where voters rejected an initiative that would have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes. German Lopez, Vox, "Marijuana legalization had a pretty good election night," 7 Nov. 2018 The national push to check union power was dealt a rare blow Tuesday when voters in Missouri rejected a right-to-work law that would have prevented private-sector unions from collecting compulsory fees from workers who do not join. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Missouri voters reject right-to-work law in rare win for unions," 2 Oct. 2018 Her mind flashes back to when her mother rejected her, even before her sister got sick and died. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Pointed Observations About Sharp Objects Episode 2," 16 July 2018 The movie was made for $15,000 and was rejected by every studio in town—sometimes twice. Mickey Rapkin, Town & Country, "The Horror of Jason Blum," 17 Oct. 2018 The rumors the two stars were dating followed soon after, but Selena shut them down on Ellen in 2010, totally rejecting him in the worst way possible — comparing the Biebs to a little brother! Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "11 Celebrities Who Were Rejected Publicly By Their Famous Crushes," 23 Jan. 2019 Many government regulators have rejected a link between cancer and glyphosate. NBC News, "Judge allows lawsuits claiming Monsanto weed killer Roundup causes cancer to go forward," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Auto-parts maker O&K American says its reject rate for Japanese steel is 0.001% compared to 0.174% for U.S. supplies. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s Political Tariff Bureaucracy," 6 Aug. 2018 In a nation obsessed with soccer, most of the 84 members are rejects from their school teams. Matt Blomberg, latimes.com, "There's a reason that the soccer team rescued from a cave in Thailand was so tough and resilient," 11 July 2018 Sometimes the fruit and vegetables aren’t aesthetic rejects. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Produce that looks funny but tastes the same will be sold in Milwaukee at discounted prices," 15 June 2018 Here’s a list of five that impressed the judges — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel — enough to earn a trip to the next round, and a bonus reject. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "'America's Got Talent:' The 5 craziest auditions, plus that just-too-weird reject," 19 June 2018 The bag, which is a reject, is symbolic of the type of follow-through that has grown this tiny local golf bag company into world renowned provider of high-quality premium products. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "This small Louisville leather shop makes golf bags for the president," 31 May 2018 The Golden Knights like to see themselves as a bunch of rejects who carry a chip on their collective shoulders because they were discarded and doomed to the cruel fate of playing for an expansion team. Helene Elliott, latimes.com, "Vegas’ latest show-stopper puts the Golden Knights one win away from a berth in Stanley Cup Final," 19 May 2018 The four rejects who do the best will move back into the house. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "'America's Next Top Model' recap: Throwback tarantulas and salty models," 28 Mar. 2018 The house was quickly cast into the reject pile, as the couple resumed the search but found nothing. Scott Sowers, miamiherald, "Pulling together a split-level | Miami Herald," 8 Mar. 2018

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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

circa 1555, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reject

Verb

Middle English, from Latin rejectus, past participle of reicere, from re- + jacere to throw — more at jet

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Statistics for reject

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reject

The first known use of reject was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for reject

reject

verb

English Language Learners Definition of reject

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to refuse to believe, accept, or consider (something)
: to decide not to publish (something) or make (something) available to the public because it is not good enough
: to refuse to allow (someone) to join a club, to attend a school, etc.

reject

noun

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

: something that is not good enough for some purpose : something that cannot be used or accepted
: a person who is not accepted or liked by other people

reject

verb
re·​ject | \ ri-ˈjekt How to pronounce reject (audio) \
rejected; rejecting

Kids Definition of reject

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to refuse to accept, believe, or consider Dad rejected my excuse. He rejected their offer.

reject

noun
re·​ject | \ ˈrē-ˌjekt How to pronounce reject (audio) \

Kids Definition of reject (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person or thing not accepted as good enough for some purpose
re·​ject | \ ri-ˈjekt How to pronounce reject (audio) \

Medical Definition of reject

1 : to rebuff, repel, refuse to hear, or withhold love from especially : to communicate negative feelings toward and a wish to be free of parents who reject their children
2 : to subject to immunological rejection rejected a heart transplant

Other Words from reject

rejective \ ri-​ˈjek-​tiv How to pronounce rejective (audio) \ adjective

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re·​ject | \ ri-ˈjekt How to pronounce reject (audio) \

Legal Definition of reject

: to refuse to accept, acknowledge, or grant — compare revoke

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More from Merriam-Webster on reject

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reject

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reject

Spanish Central: Translation of reject

Nglish: Translation of reject for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reject for Arabic Speakers

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