Word of the Day : September 20, 2012


verb rih-BUFF


: to reject or criticize sharply

Did You Know?

Occurring frequently in news articles and headlines, "rebuff" derives (via Middle French "rebuffer") from Old Italian "ribuffare," meaning "to reprimand," and ultimately from the imitative verb "buffare," meaning "to puff." (You might guess that the verb "buff," meaning "to polish," is a "buffare" descendant, but it is actually unrelated.) A similar word, "rebuke," shares the "criticize" sense of "rebuff," but not the "reject" sense (one can rebuke another's actions or policies, but one does not rebuke the advances of another, for example). Like "rebuke," "rebuff" can also be used as a noun, as in "His proposal was met with a stern rebuff from the Board of Trustees."


I offered my sister several helpful suggestions, but she rebuffed them all.

"A Nevada Legislative Committee studying the state's consolidated tax system agreed with its technical working group and rebuffed a request by the City of Fernley for a larger share of the C-Tax receipts that are given to Nevada counties, cities and special districts." - From an article in the Reno Gazette-Journal, August 8, 2012

Name That Synonym

What synonym of "rebuff" rhymes with "grub"? The answer is ...


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!