- 1 [intransitive, transitive] to say that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do Go on, ask her; she can hardly refuse. refuse to do something He flatly refused to discuss the matter. She refused to accept that there was a problem.
- 2[transitive] refuse something to say that you do not want something that has been offered to you synonym turn down I politely refused their invitation. The job offer was simply too good to refuse.
- 3 [transitive] to say that you will not allow something; to say that you will not give or allow someone something that they want or need synonym deny refuse something The bank refused his demand for a full refund. The authorities refused permission for the new housing development. He refused our request for an interview. The judge refused her application for bail. refuse somebody something They refused him a visa. She would never refuse her kids anything.
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NAmE//rɪˈfyuz//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they refuse
he / she / it refuses
past simple refused
-ing form refusing