Meaning of “refuse” in the English Dictionary

"refuse" in British English

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refuseverb [ I or T ]

uk /rɪˈfjuːz/ us /rɪˈfjuːz/

B1 to say that you will not do or accept something:

He asked me to give him another loan, but I refused.
He's in trouble but he's refused all (my offers of) help.
[ + to infinitive ] On cold mornings the car always refuses to start.

More examples

  • They invited me to dinner and I thought it would be churlish to refuse.
  • The management reserve the right to refuse entrance.
  • She's a strict vegetarian and refuses to eat any poultry or fish.
  • The managing director refused to divulge how much she earned.
  • He refused to say anything on the grounds that he might incriminate himself.

refusenoun [ U ]

uk /ˈref.juːs/ us /ˈref.juːs/ formal

(Definition of “refuse” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"refuse" in American English

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refuseverb [ I/T ]

us /rɪˈfjuz/

refuse verb [ I/T ] (SAY NO)

to say or show that you are not willing to do, accept, or allow something:

[ I ] She asked him for a loan, but he refused.
[ T ] We were refused admission to the building.
[ + to infinitive ] On cold mornings, the car may refuse to start.
refusal
noun [ C/U ] us /rɪˈfju·zəl/

[ C ] His refusal to contribute money angered the organizers.

refusenoun [ U ]

us /ˈref·jus/

refuse noun [ U ] (GARBAGE)

worthless or unwanted objects or materials; garbage:

We separate refuse from recyclables.

(Definition of “refuse” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"refuse" in Business English

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refuseverb [ I or T ]

uk /rɪˈfjuːz/ us

to say that you will not do or accept something:

refuse an offer/request/invitation The government proposes to cut unemployment benefits to those who refuse job offers.
refuse sb sth The company was forced to close when it was refused a new bank loan.
refuse to do sth Some big brand wines are refusing to accept supermarket price reductions.

(Definition of “refuse” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)