Synonyms & Antonyms of reject

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to be unwilling to grant
  • rejected his request for time off

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2 to declare not to be true
  • I reject the claim that I have ever lied about that

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3 to get rid of as useless or unwanted
  • sorted through the nuts and rejected any that had cracked shells or were shattered

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Synonyms & Antonyms of reject (Entry 2 of 2)

1 one who is cast out or rejected by society
  • was the school reject as a child and has low self-esteem even today

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2 something separated from a group or lot for not being as good as the others
  • that apple has a mushy spot on it, so it's a reject

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Frequently Asked Questions About reject

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

Some common synonyms of reject are decline, refuse, repudiate, and spurn. While all these words mean "to turn away by not accepting, receiving, or considering," reject implies a peremptory refusal by sending away or discarding.

rejected the manuscript as unpublishable

When might decline be a better fit than reject?

While in some cases nearly identical to reject, decline often implies courteous refusal especially of offers or invitations.

declined his party's nomination

When would refuse be a good substitute for reject?

The words refuse and reject are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, refuse suggests more positiveness or ungraciousness and often implies the denial of something asked for.

refused to lend them the money

When could repudiate be used to replace reject?

The meanings of repudiate and reject largely overlap; however, repudiate implies a casting off or disowning as untrue, unauthorized, or unworthy of acceptance.

teenagers who repudiate the values of their parents

When is it sensible to use spurn instead of reject?

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

spurned his overtures of friendship

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Time Traveler for reject

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Reject.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on reject

Dictionary: Definition of reject

Medical Dictionary: Definition of reject

Nglish: Translation of reject for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reject for Arabic Speakers

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