Definition of refusal in English:



  • 1[usually 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.’
    • ‘Most worrying is the right-leaning media's continual hedging and refusal to accept basic facts.’
    • ‘One of the weaknesses of the mass storage industry is a stubborn refusal to learn from history.’
    • ‘They also expressed dismay at the Israeli government's continued refusal to restart the peace process.’
    • ‘In the past, refusal to serve in the military could carry prison sentences of up to five years.’
    • ‘Today, we see the consequences of the Bush administration's refusal to learn from the past.’
    • ‘Due to professional autonomy, no one can challenge their refusal to abandon this entirely discredited methodology.’
    • ‘Lex, see what you miss with your stubborn refusal to own a T.V.?’
    • ‘The executive's refusal to accept the committee's decision has caused outrage among Labour backbenchers.’
    • ‘The strike is over management's refusal to solve a long-running land dispute.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One explanation can be found in an adamant refusal to relinquish ceremonial practices.’
    • ‘Khan said the Pakistani Government's refusal to grant his wife a visa has traumatised the entire family.’
    • ‘The group came forward at the end of last week following news of the players' refusal to accept a 30 per cent wage deferral.’
    • ‘Her conversation betrays disappointment, anger, and an outright refusal to be labeled a victim.’
    • ‘The announcement follows recent refusals by two judges to take early retirement despite pressure from the government.’
    • ‘What was impressive about her - moving even - was her steadfast refusal to do so.’
    • ‘The dispute is over the government's continued refusal to fulfill campaign promises to raise teachers' wages.’
    • ‘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.’
    withholding, failure to grant, denial, veto, turndown
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    1. 1.1An expression of unwillingness to accept or grant an offer or request.
      ‘an appeal against the refusal of a licence’
      • ‘Planning officers have recommended the refusal of the application because it is on green belt land.’
      • ‘He says there is no evidence to justify refusal on the grounds of the adverse impact of pollution.’
      • ‘Moreover, anyone who is dissatisfied with an initial refusal of registration may appeal to the Panel.’
      • ‘They upheld the refusal of an injunction against publication.’
      • ‘Other, more general equitable principles might justify the refusal of this discretionary remedy.’
      • ‘In his report to the board, Mr Moore recommended refusal of the application.’
      • ‘He challenged the refusal before the German administrative courts and a reference was made to the ECJ.’
      • ‘The irregularity does not go to the merits of our own refusal of leave.’
      • ‘Mr Watson is appealing against the latest refusal of bail.’
      • ‘In the three page document, there was no reference to the refusal of an adjournment.’
      • ‘Residents are appealing the refusals in all three cases.’
      • ‘As I have indicated above, no reasons were given for the refusal of consent in the present case.’
      • ‘Some county councillors greeted the council's initial refusal with surprise.’
      • ‘Even applying on the phone or in person instead of in writing could justify a refusal.’
      • ‘But members of the town council's planning sub-committee voted to recommend refusal of planning permission.’
      • ‘The applicant now seeks special leave to appeal from that refusal of leave.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is no demonstrable basis for refusal on health grounds.’
      • ‘In any event there was a long delay between him learning of this appeal and his refusal of the offer of employment.’
      • ‘But planning chiefs do not see these problems to be great enough to warrant a refusal of the application.’
      non-acceptance, no, dissent, demurral, negation, rebuff, turndown
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2An instance of a horse stopping short or running aside at a jump.
      ‘Dollar Girl hit several fences and had a refusal’
      • ‘At this level the riders are not timed, but penalties are awarded for faults such as refusal to jump or knocking down a fence.’
      • ‘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.’