refuse

Definitions

  • One of the intriguing mysteries of Jamestown is how the left leg and left half of a human pelvis came to be thrown with other refuse into a well behind the row house. The logical inference is that a rebel or criminal had been hanged, drawn, and quartered
    One of the intriguing mysteries of Jamestown is how the left leg and left half of a human pelvis came to be thrown with other refuse into a well behind the row house. The logical inference is that a rebel or criminal had been hanged, drawn, and quartered
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v refuse show unwillingness towards "he declined to join the group on a hike"
    • v refuse refuse to let have "She denies me every pleasure","he denies her her weekly allowance"
    • v refuse refuse to accept "He refused my offer of hospitality"
    • v refuse refuse entrance or membership "They turned away hundreds of fans","Black people were often rejected by country clubs"
    • v refuse elude, especially in a baffling way "This behavior defies explanation"
    • v refuse resist immunologically the introduction of some foreign tissue or organ "His body rejected the liver of the donor"
    • n refuse food that is discarded (as from a kitchen)
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Additional illustrations & photos:

A cutlass in excellent preservation and many other objects from 17th-century Jamestown were found in a large clay borrow pit filled with refuse A cutlass in excellent preservation and many other objects from 17th-century Jamestown were found in a large clay...
Artifacts found near the site of the Jamestown glasshouse which was in operation as early as 1608: a small melting pot, part of a working hole, fragment from large melting pot, cullet (broken or refuse glass shown in lower left corner), and green glass fragments (lower center and lower right) Artifacts found near the site of the Jamestown glasshouse which was in operation as early as 1608: a small melting...
Pinocchio Refuses to Take His Medicine Pinocchio Refuses to Take His Medicine
I 'EARD THE GUVNOR SAY THERE WAS THREE 'UNDRED QUID REFUSED FOR 'IM BEFORE THE WAR. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT I 'EARD THE GUVNOR SAY THERE WAS THREE 'UNDRED QUID REFUSED FOR 'IM BEFORE THE WAR. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT
THE UNHAPPY DINER WHO HAS BEEN REFUSED A SECOND HELPING THE UNHAPPY DINER WHO HAS BEEN REFUSED A SECOND HELPING
Curius Dentatus refusing the Magnificent Gift offered by the Samnite Ambassadors Curius Dentatus refusing the Magnificent Gift offered by the Samnite Ambassadors
Dido refuses to listen to Aeneas' apology Dido refuses to listen to Aeneas' apology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Chinese politician Mao Zedong refused to ever brush his teeth and instead just washed his mouth with tea
    • n Refuse Refusal.
    • a Refuse Refused; rejected; hence; left as unworthy of acceptance; of no value; worthless. "Everything that was vile and refuse , that they destroyed utterly."
    • n Refuse That which is refused or rejected as useless; waste or worthless matter.
    • Refuse To decline to accept; to reject; to deny the request or petition of; as, to refuse a suitor. "The cunning workman never doth refuse The meanest tool that he may chance to use."
    • v. i Refuse To deny compliance; not to comply. "Too proud to ask, too humble to refuse .""If ye refuse . . . ye shall be devoured with the sword."
    • Refuse To deny, as a request, demand, invitation, or command; to decline to do or grant. "That never yet refused your hest."
    • Refuse To disown. "Refuse thy name."
    • Refuse (Mil) To throw back, or cause to keep back (as the center, a wing, or a flank), out of the regular aligment when troops are about to engage the enemy; as, to refuse the right wing while the left wing attacks.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The man who commissioned the Mona Lisa refused it.
    • refuse To deny, as a request, demand, or invitation; decline to do or grant: as, to refuse admittance; she refused herself to callers.
    • refuse To decline to accept; reject: as, to refuse an office; to refuse an offer.
    • refuse To disown; disavow; forsake.
    • refuse Milit., to hold (troops) back, or move (them) back from the regular alinement, when about to engage the enemy in battle. In the oblique order of battle, if either flank attack, the other flank is refused.
    • refuse Fail to receive; resist; repel.
    • refuse Synonyms and Decline, Refuse, Reject, Repel, and Rebuff are in the order of strength.
    • refuse To decline to accept or consent; fail to comply.
    • n refuse A refusal.
    • n refuse That which is refused or rejected; waste or useless matter; the worst or meanest part; rubbish.
    • n refuse Synonyms Dregs, scum, dross, trash, rubbish.
    • refuse Refused; rejected; hence, worthless; of no value: as, the refuse parts of stone or timber.
    • refuse To fuse or melt again.
    • refuse In chess, same as decline, 10.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The city of Denver was chosen to host and then refused the 1976 Winter Olympics.
    • v.t Refuse rē-fūz′ to reject: to deny, as a request, &c.: to disown: to fail to receive, to repel:
    • v.i Refuse to decline acceptance: not to comply
    • adj Refuse ref′ūs refused: worthless
    • n Refuse that which is rejected or left as worthless: dross
    • v.t Refuse rē-fūz′ to melt again
    • v.t Refuse rē-fūz′ (mil.) to hold troops back from the regular alignment
    • ***

Quotations

  • Bible
    Bible
    “The desire of the lazy kill him; for his hands refuse to labor. [Proverbs 21:25]”
  • Albert Camus
    Albert%20Camus
    “Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.”
  • Napoleon Hill
    Napoleon%20Hill
    “Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”
  • W. Somerset Maugham
    W.%20Somerset%20Maugham
    “It's a funny thing about life: if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”
  • David Martyn Lloyd-Jones
    David Martyn Lloyd-Jones
    “Faith is the refusal to panic.”
  • Aneurin Bevan
    Aneurin%20Bevan
    “Fascism is not in itself a new order of society. It is the future refusing to be born.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. refuser, either from (assumed) LL. refusare, to refuse, v. freq. of L. refundere, to pour back, give back, restore (see Refund to repay), or. fr. L. recusare, to decline, refuse cf. Accuse Ruse), influenced by L. refutare, to drive back, repel, refute. Cf. Refute
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. refuser, prob. due to confusion of L. refutāre, to drive back, recusāre, to make an objection against.

Usage

In literature:

A man does not like to be refused when he makes a proposal, and no man of tact will risk a refusal.
"Our Deportment" by John H. Young
And even there she had wronged him less by the things she had refused to give than by the things that she had refused to take.
"The Helpmate" by May Sinclair
I wonder at his refusing it because of the Right Honourable.
"Phineas Finn" by Anthony Trollope
God, who had given many men of notoriety during this reign, had refused it a statesman; all was promise and deception.
"History of the Girondists, Volume I" by Alphonse de Lamartine
The train refused to stop at any station.
"Sixteen Months in Four German Prisons" by Henry Charles Mahoney
Those who had made her queen found their requests met with refusal, their advice rejected with scorn.
"Historical Tales, Vol. 4 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
We shall take no refusal.
"Phineas Redux" by Anthony Trollope
You can't refuse comfort from an old friend like me.
"The Swindler and Other Stories" by Ethel M. Dell
There is much refuse within and also on the slope in front of the entrance.
"Archeological Investigations" by Gerard Fowke
He refused a burden which he said was too heavy for the weakness of his youth.
"The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2 (of 2)" by Anatole France
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In poetry:

The unrelenting gods
Refuse me. "No," say they,
"Thy chance is thrown away."
Fierce unrelenting gods!
"Eurydice" by Sophie Margaret Hensley
Bleak is the night and long
While slumber waits apart,
Refusing this lone heart,
These lips forlorn of song.
"Before Dawn" by Clark Ashton Smith
What, varlet! cried Croquard, Dost thou refuse me?
By heaven, proud cur, you shall see
And feel the weight of my hand before you are much older:
Then he instantly sprang up, and seized the minstrel by the shoulder.
"Jack o' the Cudgel" by William Topaz McGonagall
Thus spoke the maid, as one not used
To be by earth or heaven refused—
As one who knew her influence o'er
All creatures, whatsoe'er they were,
And tho' to heaven she could not soar,
At least would bring down heaven to her.
"The Loves of the Angels" by Thomas Moore
This is the time to think of nature’s God,
When birds and fountains, streams and woods, unite
Their various-sounding voices in his praise:
Shall man alone refuse to sing it—yes,
For man, alone, has nought to thank him for.
"The Suicide’s Grave (From The German)" by George Borrow
'Tis true, of old the unchanging sun
His daily course refused to run,
The pale moon hurrying to the west
Paused at a mortal's call, to aid
The avenging storm of war, that laid
Seven guilty realms at once on earth's defiled breast.
"First Sunday After Christmas" by John Keble

In news:

Car owner Tad Geschickter refused.
The Polynesian refused and said if we had booked directly with them, we would have known the park was closed.
Here's an offer you can refuse.
Gordon Brown yesterday surprised commentators by refusing to rule out military action against Iran.
These are not great souls who alert us to troubles but tiny minds who wish us suffering if we refuse to listen to them.
PHOENIX – A three-year-old girl in Phoenix died after being brutally beaten by her stepfather when she refused to eat a hot dog, police said Sunday.
How should authorities respond to 'Occupiers' who refuse to budge .
Gillis refuses to part with draft picks, as second-rounders too much of a price to pay.
From my new series, "I Refuse to Age Gracefully".
An off-duty Toledo police sergeant working security at a downtown bus station was punched in the face Friday by a man who refused to leave, according to court records.
John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press Richard Hykawy holds a summons to appear in court after he refused to cut the grass on the boulevard.
Though the red carpet remained rolled up over the past week due to the holidays, Hollywood's hottest stars refused to compromise style as they enjoyed time off with their friends and family.
The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal over a South Carolina program that allows high school students to earn elective credit toward graduation through off-campus religious courses.
He made them an offer he has to refuse to honor.
Family says Capitán the German shepherd mix refuses to leave cemetery.
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In science:

It would be a legitimate editorial decision to refuse to accept all papers dealing with equations of motion for classical charged particles.
Comment on Phys. Rev. D 60 084017 "Classical self-force" by F. Rohrlich
Abramov, On a property of a refusals stream, J.
Asymptotic analysis of the GI/M/1/n loss system as n increases to infinity
In the controversy that started by two papers [1, 2] in 1935 Einstein’s view was refused by the then physical community.
Controversy between Einstein and Bohr and two erroneous arguments used in supporting Copenhagen quantum mechanics
The situation changed when Bell showed that the refusal was based on classical-physics assumption used by von Neumann.
Controversy between Einstein and Bohr and two erroneous arguments used in supporting Copenhagen quantum mechanics
The Sub ject which, in the interaction with the Ob ject, refuses any form of formalisation and which always maintains an element of irreducible mystery.
The Latest on the Sokal Affair: Beyond Three Extremisms
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