Main definitions of refuse in English

: refuse1refuse2

refuse1

verb

  • 1no object, with infinitive Indicate or show that one is not willing to do something.

    ‘I refused to answer’
    no object ‘he was severely beaten when he refused’
    • ‘We want to avoid this wherever possible but despite the fact we pay for flights and offer generous resettlement grants, many of these failed claimants still refuse to leave.’
    • ‘Yet, the administration steadfastly refuses to admit its own role in creating the problem.’
    • ‘She then shouted that she was innocent and that adding another six months to her prison sentence because she refused to answer questions would make no difference.’
    • ‘Mr Casey left court yesterday refusing to comment.’
    • ‘Earlier in the week she had twice stormed out after refusing to answer questions put by defence barrister Courtenay Griffiths QC.’
    • ‘McCarthy yesterday refused to indicate who will figure in his team selection even though he confirmed he had settled on a team in his own mind.’
    • ‘William Kemmis admitted to having seen the proposed panel prior to Monday, but at first refused to indicate who had shown it to him.’
    • ‘Workers have called for work stoppages if the car companies refuse to negotiate on the issue.’
    • ‘Both are intense competitors who refuse to concede defeat.’
    • ‘Aides to the reclusive cleric, however, have indicated that he will refuse to back a specific party in the December vote.’
    • ‘Yet the government is still refusing to accept that there is a problem.’
    • ‘However, members flatly refused to accept such a blanket ruling.’
    • ‘Something is wrong with our medical clinic if they're flatly refusing to perform a treatment that takes all of five minutes to complete.’
    • ‘The issues are simply spiralling out of control and the government even refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem.’
    • ‘I've just got a lot of questions that he refuses to answer.’
    • ‘An initial referendum in 1898 failed when two states refused to participate.’
    • ‘And, of course, there is a lot of information that Teresa isn't releasing and she's refusing to answer questions about it.’
    • ‘But it might also whet the public's appetite and be less of a burden on the taxpayer should motorists stubbornly refuse to leave their cars at home.’
    • ‘Military police are dealing with at least 40 percent more deserters than last year, the result of increasing numbers of reservists refusing to perform military service.’
    • ‘The agency refused to require pre-market toxicological testing for GE foods or any toxicity monitoring, at all.’
    1. 1.1with object Indicate that one is not willing to accept or grant (something offered or requested)
      ‘she refused a cigarette’
      with two objects ‘the old lady was refused admission to four hospitals’
      • ‘They refused her request, but told her she could ring the Pakistani consulate if she wished.’
      • ‘The government said it had advised her against returning to the zone and refused her request for transport in a military helicopter.’
      • ‘The application was initially refused on the grounds that it was detrimental to the area.’
      • ‘Accordingly, the application is refused with costs in favour of both respondents.’
      • ‘In September 2003 planning permission was refused on traffic grounds and its effect on nearby properties.’
      • ‘Although permission was refused on some grounds, the case did proceed to a substantive hearing.’
      • ‘Her request was refused by the notarization department, the Shanghai Morning Post reported.’
      • ‘The coalition had challenged the two MPs to a debate so that people could have both a pro and anti-war response, but this request was refused by the MPs.’
      • ‘The SPCA, he notes, refuses any request to adopt an animal intended for the purposes of attack or defence.’
      • ‘But the request was refused by the DTI which, in a letter to Mr Rose, said that nothing would be gained from adjourning the inquiry.’
      • ‘On 18 February 2000 the Tribunal refused the applicant's request for a visa.’
      • ‘Mr Craig also refused requests to participate in an ‘informal discussion’.’
      • ‘But to his disappointment, the offer was eventually refused by the parochial church council.’
      • ‘It is held in trust by her as sovereign for her successors and the nation and, indeed, she rarely refuses a request to lend items.’
      • ‘An adjournment was refused by the court and he was found guilty and fined.’
      • ‘In those circumstances, the application for special leave is refused with costs.’
      • ‘She refused the request and decided to change her small house into a restaurant.’
      • ‘The trial judge refused a preliminary request to exclude evidence or stay proceedings.’
      • ‘The Heritage Lottery viewed the park at the council's request but refused a grant as it considered there were sufficient existing facilities.’
      • ‘But the request was refused by the DTI who, in a letter to Mr Rose, said that nothing would be gained from adjourning the inquiry.’
      decline, turn down, say no to
      withhold, not grant, disapprove, deny, discountenance
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2informal (of a thing) fail to perform a required action.
      ‘the car refused to start’
      • ‘Occasionally a car stuck in the middle of a traffic channel refuses to budge when the light changes.’
      • ‘No matter how hard she tried, the door simply refused to budge.’
      • ‘After all, you wouldn't expect to buy a new car, pay extra for reinforced bumpers, and then find your petrol tank supplying other cars with fuel, or your engine refusing to work.’
      • ‘Needless to say, some software refuses to build when 2.4.4 or better is required.’
      • ‘The dialogueless scenario refuses to jell, and is performed by Bebe Neuwirth somewhat unconvincingly, except when she slinkily dances.’
    3. 1.3dated with object Decline to accept an offer of marriage from (someone)
      ‘he's so conceited he'd never believe anyone would refuse him’
      • ‘He twice proposed marriage to Maud Gonne, and when she refused him he transferred his affections to her teenage daughter.’
      • ‘She didn't tell anyone and still refused Jim, telling him that she still needed time.’
    4. 1.4with object (of a horse) stop short or run aside at (a fence or other obstacle) instead of jumping it.
      ‘her horse refused a high hedge’
      no object ‘again the horse refused, his nostrils flaring with fear’
      • ‘The trial judge said that refusing the fence was inconceivable and Justice Meagher said that that finding was truly extraordinary.’
      • ‘And she kept refusing the fence with Josephine, the girl who was riding her.’
      • ‘Any horse falling at the trial jump or twice refusing is not allowed to compete.’
      • ‘The race sprung to life at the second flight when leader Westender refused to jump the hurdle and also knocked the favourite Rule Supreme out of contention.’
      • ‘Twenty points are awarded if the horse refuses to jump an obstacle, a second refusal at the same fence costs 40 points and a third means elimination.’
      • ‘The penalties are: four points for refusing a jump, eight points if it happens again and elimination for three refusals.’
      • ‘The feeling is of a rider cantering up to a fence, and the horse three times refusing to jump it.’
      • ‘Reeve, a keen sportsman, said his mind wandered and his horse refused a simple fence.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French refuser, probably an alteration of Latin recusare ‘to refuse’, influenced by refutare ‘refute’.

Pronunciation

refuse

/rɪˈfjuːz/

Main definitions of refuse in English

: refuse1refuse2

refuse2

noun

mass noun
  • Matter thrown away or rejected as worthless; rubbish.

    ‘heaps of refuse’
    as modifier ‘refuse collection’
    • ‘The council is already looking at a range of measures to tackle the growing problem of litter, trade waste, domestic refuse and fly-tipping.’
    • ‘Soon that odour will disappear under the heady scent of rotting refuse.’
    • ‘Greenwich, Bromley and Lewisham all have refuse depots where rubbish can be disposed of free of charge.’
    • ‘He said at present three companies collect refuse in the area.’
    • ‘The bill does not include the cost of domestic and business refuse collections.’
    • ‘The refuse bin itself will hold the contents of approximately four or five black boxes.’
    • ‘Many residents have expressed concerns that the rising tide of rotting refuse will attract rats and other vermin.’
    • ‘The skip containers will be used mainly for garden refuse and rubbish which does not generally fit in the normal green drums.’
    • ‘Bins for household refuse are available to all houses and will be collected every Monday.’
    • ‘The increased refuse disposal charges are leading to a growth in indiscriminate and illegal dumping, writes Denis J. Croke.’
    • ‘I would ask the council to immediately reinstate weekly refuse collections of non-recyclable rubbish and to provide recycling boxes that are designed to avoid the present problems.’
    • ‘Household waste presented for collection in refuse sacks or cardboard boxes will not be collected by Council staff.’
    • ‘The dumping will be supervised, to ensure that only garden refuse is deposited.’
    • ‘The clearest indication of the council's failure to understand what is happening can be found in their claims regarding reduction in the amount of domestic refuse going to landfill.’
    • ‘They also say that if materials for recycling are placed in the proper boxes, there should not be enough domestic refuse left to warrant a weekly collection.’
    • ‘The alternate week refuse collection, which sees household rubbish picked up once a fortnight, was designed with recycling aims in mind.’
    • ‘Staff from the arts centre had to collect three refuse bags full of rubbish that was left strewn about outside.’
    • ‘We were told only garden and household refuse could be left free of charge.’
    • ‘Under the present scheme, there is a weekly collection of refuse in black sacks, one bag of garden waste collected a week and fortnightly collections of recycling items, in bags.’
    • ‘He said he felt sorry for the council refuse workers having to deal with the waste.’
    rubbish, waste, debris, litter, garbage, discarded matter, detritus, dross, landfill, scrap, rubble, slag, spoilage, sullage, sewage, slop
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: perhaps from Old French refusé ‘refused’, past participle of refuser (see refuse).

Pronunciation

refuse

/ˈrɛfjuːs/