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Synonym Chooser

How is the word refuse different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of refuse are decline, reject, repudiate, and spurn. While all these words mean "to turn away by not accepting, receiving, or considering," refuse suggests more positiveness or ungraciousness and often implies the denial of something asked for.

refused to lend them the money

In what contexts can decline take the place of refuse?

In some situations, the words decline and refuse are roughly equivalent. However, decline often implies courteous refusal especially of offers or invitations.

declined his party's nomination

When is reject a more appropriate choice than refuse?

The synonyms reject and refuse are sometimes interchangeable, but reject implies a peremptory refusal by sending away or discarding.

rejected the manuscript as unpublishable

When can repudiate be used instead of refuse?

The words repudiate and refuse can be used in similar contexts, but repudiate implies a casting off or disowning as untrue, unauthorized, or unworthy of acceptance.

teenagers who repudiate the values of their parents

When could spurn be used to replace refuse?

Although the words spurn and refuse have much in common, spurn stresses contempt or disdain in rejection or repudiation.

spurned his overtures of friendship

Thesaurus Entries Near refuse

Cite this Entry

“Refuse.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

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