Definition of refusal in English:



  • 1usually with infinitive An act of refusing to do something.

    ‘he became tired of his friend's refusal to see him’
    • ‘Kerr's refusal to accept their recommendation was met with widespread approval by the Scottish business community.’
    • ‘In the past, refusal to serve in the military could carry prison sentences of up to five years.’
    • ‘The group came forward at the end of last week following news of the players' refusal to accept a 30 per cent wage deferral.’
    • ‘The announcement follows recent refusals by two judges to take early retirement despite pressure from the government.’
    • ‘One of the weaknesses of the mass storage industry is a stubborn refusal to learn from history.’
    • ‘Today, we see the consequences of the Bush administration's refusal to learn from the past.’
    • ‘What was impressive about her - moving even - was her steadfast refusal to do so.’
    • ‘I admire his steadfast refusal to be anyone other than himself.’
    • ‘We need to take seriously their steadfast refusal to admit even their most obvious mistakes.’
    • ‘They also expressed dismay at the Israeli government's continued refusal to restart the peace process.’
    • ‘Khan said the Pakistani Government's refusal to grant his wife a visa has traumatised the entire family.’
    • ‘Lex, see what you miss with your stubborn refusal to own a T.V.?’
    • ‘The dispute is over the government's continued refusal to fulfill campaign promises to raise teachers' wages.’
    • ‘The strike is over management's refusal to solve a long-running land dispute.’
    • ‘One explanation can be found in an adamant refusal to relinquish ceremonial practices.’
    • ‘Her conversation betrays disappointment, anger, and an outright refusal to be labeled a victim.’
    • ‘That's the best weapon we have against these evil people, our flat refusal to allow them to divert us more than momentarily from our daily lives.’
    • ‘The executive's refusal to accept the committee's decision has caused outrage among Labour backbenchers.’
    • ‘Most worrying is the right-leaning media's continual hedging and refusal to accept basic facts.’
    • ‘Due to professional autonomy, no one can challenge their refusal to abandon this entirely discredited methodology.’
    withholding, failure to grant, denial, veto, turndown
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An expression of unwillingness to accept or grant an offer or request.
      ‘an appeal against the refusal of a licence’
      • ‘They upheld the refusal of an injunction against publication.’
      • ‘He says there is no evidence to justify refusal on the grounds of the adverse impact of pollution.’
      • ‘Planning officers have recommended the refusal of the application because it is on green belt land.’
      • ‘Moreover, anyone who is dissatisfied with an initial refusal of registration may appeal to the Panel.’
      • ‘The other tack taken is that what appear to us to be unanswered prayers actually are instances of God's refusals for our own good.’
      • ‘Even applying on the phone or in person instead of in writing could justify a refusal.’
      • ‘Residents are appealing the refusals in all three cases.’
      • ‘Other, more general equitable principles might justify the refusal of this discretionary remedy.’
      • ‘As I have indicated above, no reasons were given for the refusal of consent in the present case.’
      • ‘He challenged the refusal before the German administrative courts and a reference was made to the ECJ.’
      • ‘There is no demonstrable basis for refusal on health grounds.’
      • ‘Some county councillors greeted the council's initial refusal with surprise.’
      • ‘The applicant now seeks special leave to appeal from that refusal of leave.’
      • ‘But members of the town council's planning sub-committee voted to recommend refusal of planning permission.’
      • ‘But planning chiefs do not see these problems to be great enough to warrant a refusal of the application.’
      • ‘In any event there was a long delay between him learning of this appeal and his refusal of the offer of employment.’
      • ‘In his report to the board, Mr Moore recommended refusal of the application.’
      • ‘Mr Watson is appealing against the latest refusal of bail.’
      • ‘The irregularity does not go to the merits of our own refusal of leave.’
      • ‘In the three page document, there was no reference to the refusal of an adjournment.’
      non-acceptance, no, dissent, demurral, negation, rebuff, turndown
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 An instance of a horse stopping short or running aside at a jump.
      ‘Dollar Girl hit several fences and had a refusal’
      • ‘It took a lot of concentration to be able to maneuver your horse correctly and get it to jump all 3 jumps without refusals, knockdowns or passing the fence.’
      • ‘At this level the riders are not timed, but penalties are awarded for faults such as refusal to jump or knocking down a fence.’