1 [ri-fyooz]
verb (used with object), refused, refusing.
to decline to accept (something offered): to refuse an award.
to decline to give; deny (a request, demand, etc.): to refuse permission.
to express a determination not to (do something): to refuse to discuss the question.
to decline to submit to.
(of a horse) to decline to leap over (a barrier).
to decline to accept (a suitor) in marriage.
Military. to bend or curve back (the flank units of a military force) so that they face generally to the flank rather than the front.
Obsolete. to renounce.
verb (used without object), refused, refusing.
to decline acceptance, consent, or compliance.

1300–50; Middle English refusen < Middle French refuser, Old FrenchLatin refūsus, past participle of refundere to pour back; see refund1

refusable, adjective
refuser, noun
quasi-refused, adjective
unrefusable, adjective
unrefused, adjective
unrefusing, adjective

1. rebuff. Refuse, decline, reject, spurn all imply nonacceptance of something. To decline is milder and more courteous than to refuse which is direct and often emphatic in expressing determination not to accept what is offered or proposed: to refuse a bribe; to decline an invitation. To reject is even more positive and definite than refuse : to reject a suitor. To spurn is to reject with scorn: to spurn a bribe.

1. accept, welcome. Unabridged


2 [ref-yoos]
something that is discarded as worthless or useless; rubbish; trash; garbage.
rejected as worthless; discarded: refuse matter.

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French; Old French refus denial, rejection, derivative of refuser to refuse1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To refuse
World English Dictionary
refuse1 (rɪˈfjuːz)
1.  (tr) to decline to accept (something offered): to refuse a present; to refuse promotion
2.  to decline to give or grant (something) to (a person, organization, etc)
3.  (when tr, takes an infinitive) to express determination not (to do something); decline: he refuses to talk about it
4.  (of a horse) to be unwilling to take (a jump), as by swerving or stopping
5.  (tr) (of a woman) to declare one's unwillingness to accept (a suitor) as a husband
[C14: from Old French refuser, from Latin refundere to pour back; see refund]

refuse2 (ˈrɛfjuːs)
a.  anything thrown away; waste; rubbish
 b.  (as modifier): a refuse collection
[C15: from Old French refuser to refuse1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1300, from O.Fr. refuser (12c.), from V.L. *refusare, frequentative of pp. stem of L. refundere "pour back, give back" (see refund). Refusal first recorded 1474. Refusenik "Soviet Jew who has been refused permission to emigrate to Israel" (1975) is a partial transl. of
Rus. otkaznik, from otkazat "to refuse."

late 14c. (adj.), "outcast;" meaning "waste, trash" is from c.1440; from O.Fr. refus "waste product, rubbish," a back-formation from the pp. of refuser (see refuse (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
It is kindness immediately to refuse what you intend to deny.
We consistently refuse to pay for care-giving in this country, and this is the
  latest iteration of that problem.
But it seems implausible that the best possible way of dealing with the
  situation is to refuse to accept the panels.
It's based on something they almost certainly do not, and probably cannot,
  refuse to do: consume health care services.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature