verb (used with object), re·fused, re·fus·ing.
- 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), re·fused, re·fus·ing.
- to decline acceptance, consent, or compliance.
- (tr) to decline to accept (something offered)to refuse a present; to refuse promotion
- to decline to give or grant (something) to (a person, organization, etc)
- (when tr, takes an infinitive) to express determination not (to do something); declinehe refuses to talk about it
- (of a horse) to be unwilling to take (a jump), as by swerving or stopping
- (tr) (of a woman) to declare one’s unwillingness to accept (a suitor) as a husband
- anything thrown away; waste; rubbish
- (as modifier)a refuse collection
c.1300, from Old French refuser “reject, disregard, avoid” (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *refusare, frequentative form from past participle stem of Latin refundere “pour back, give back” (see refund (v.)). Related: Refused; refusing.
mid-14c., “an outcast;” mid-14c., “a rejected thing, waste material, trash,” from Old French refus “waste product, rubbish; refusal, denial, rejection,” a back-formation from the past participle of refuser (see refuse (v.)). As an adjective from late 14c., “despised, rejected;” early 15c., “of low quality.”