refuse Definition

  • 1indicate or show that one is not willing to do something
  • 2fail to accept or comply with; reject
  • 3matter thrown away or rejected as worthless; rubbish

Using refuse: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "refuse" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I refused to answer any more questions.

  • Example

    The company refused to negotiate with the union.

  • Example

    He refused to let me pay for dinner.

  • Example

    She refused to believe him.

refuse Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for refuse

Idioms Using refuse

  • be unwilling to change one's opinion or position


    The politician refused to budge on his stance regarding the new policy.

  • refuse point-blank

    refuse in a blunt or direct manner, without hesitation or equivocation


    When asked if he would consider a compromise, he refused point-blank.

  • persist in asking or demanding something, even when told that it is not possible or not allowed


    He refused to take no for an answer and kept calling until he got what he wanted.

Phrases with refuse

  • a person whose job is to collect and dispose of refuse


    The refuse collector comes every Monday morning.

  • a place where waste materials are dumped and left to decay


    The refuse dump was overflowing with garbage.

  • a vertical passage or pipe for conveying refuse to a lower level


    The refuse chute in the apartment building was clogged with trash.

Origins of refuse

from Old French 'refuser', meaning 'to refuse'


Summary: refuse in Brief

The verb 'refuse' [rɪˈfjuːz] means to indicate unwillingness to do something, or to reject or fail to comply with something. It can be used in various contexts, from personal interactions to business negotiations, as in 'The company refused to negotiate with the union.' 'Refuse' also refers to matter thrown away as worthless, such as 'The refuse dump was overflowing with garbage.' Idioms like 'refuse to budge' and 'refuse to take no for an answer' denote persistence in one's position.

How do native speakers use this expression?