Meaning of REJECT in English


1. to reject an offer or suggestion

2. to officially reject a request or suggestion

3. to state very firmly that you do not agree with something

4. to reject ideas, beliefs, or ways of living

5. to reject someone who wants to be friendly or help you

6. to refuse to give someone a job, a place at college etc

7. to refuse very firmly to accept or become involved in something




to say that you will not do something : ↑ REFUSE

see also

↑ NO


1. to reject an offer or suggestion

▷ reject /rɪˈdʒekt/ [transitive verb]

to say no very firmly to an offer or suggestion. Reject is more formal than not accept and say no :

▪ Lauren rejected her parents’ offer of financial help.

▪ She rejected the idea that she should sue him.

▪ The Secretary of State offered his resignation, which the President promptly rejected.

rejection /rɪˈdʒekʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

▪ the government’s outright rejection of the proposals

▷ not accept /nɒt əkˈsept/ [verb phrase]

to say no to an offer or invitation, especially because you think it would not be right to accept it :

▪ She’s given us all this stuff and she won’t accept any money for it.

▪ I decided not to accept their invitation.

▪ Laney wouldn’t accept what he considered an insulting pay offer.

▷ say no /seɪ ˈnəʊ/ [verb phrase] especially spoken

not accept an offer or suggestion :

▪ I asked him if he wanted a drink, but he said no.

▪ I’ll offer to buy it from her, but I expect she’ll say no.

say no to

▪ Mrs. Hill, still mentally alert, said no to any suggestions of further operations.

▷ refuse /rɪˈfjuːz/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to say you do not want something that you have been offered :

▪ The offer was so good how could I refuse?

▪ He never refuses a drink, does he?

refuse to do something

▪ Ms. Knight refused to accept the manager’s apology.

flatly refuse

▪ He flatly refuses any offers of financial help.

▷ turn down /ˌtɜːʳn ˈdaʊn/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to say no to an offer - use this especially when someone refuses a good offer or opportunity, and this is surprising :

turn somebody/something down

▪ They offered her a really good job, but she turned it down.

▪ He said he’d help her with her training, but she turned him down.

turn down somebody/something

▪ If you turn down the opportunity to go to college, you’ll always regret it.

▷ decline /dɪˈklaɪn/ [intransitive/transitive verb] formal

to say no politely when someone invites you to do something :

▪ Mr Casey regrets that he will have to decline your kind invitation owing to a prior engagement.

▪ The bishop was invited to attend the opening ceremony, but he declined.

decline to do something

▪ The Prime Minister was asked for his opinion but declined to comment.

▷ I’ll take a rain check /aɪl ˌteɪk ə ˈreɪn tʃek/ spoken

use this to tell someone that you cannot accept their invitation at the time they have suggested, but would like to do it at some time in the future :

▪ ‘How about dinner tonight?’ ‘Sorry -- I’ll have to take a rain check on that.’

2. to officially reject a request or suggestion

▷ reject /rɪˈdʒekt/ [transitive verb]

to use your official authority to formally refuse a request or suggestion :

▪ Judge Gifford rejected the defense’s request.

▪ The immigration authorities have rejected his application for refugee status.

▪ It was predicted that the Senate would reject the bill by about 60 to 40.

rejection /rɪˈdʒekʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

▪ the rejection of the Equal Rights Bill by a small majority

▷ throw out /ˌθrəʊ ˈaʊt/ [transitive phrasal verb]

if a parliament, a council, or other official political organization throws out a plan or suggestion, they refuse to accept it or make it legal, especially after voting on it :

throw out something

▪ Local councillors threw out proposals for the building of a new stadium.

throw something out

▪ The House passed the bill, but the Senate threw it out.

▷ turn down /ˌtɜːʳn ˈdaʊn/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to refuse to accept a request or to give someone permission to do something, especially when the request is a reasonable one :

turn down something

▪ Their application to build a new extension has been turned down by the planning authority.

turn something down

▪ We put in a request for a little extra time for us to finish the project, but the board turned it down.

▷ refuse /rɪˈfjuːz/ [verb]

to officially decide that someone cannot have something they have asked for, or cannot do something they want to do :

refuse an application/request/demand etc

▪ Judge Eyck refused his request for bail.

▪ Over 2,000 applications for political asylum were refused last year.

refuse somebody something

▪ Under the law, doctors cannot refuse patients access to their own medical records.

refuse something to somebody

▪ The city is refusing contracts to firms that do not practice an equal opportunities policy.

▷ say no /seɪ ˈnəʊ/ [verb phrase]

to officially refuse to accept a request, suggestion, or bad situation :

▪ Employees have repeatedly requested child care facilities, but the company has always said no.

say no to

▪ We’re hoping the government will at last say no to low wages and poverty.

▷ vote against/vote no /ˌvəʊt əˈgenst, ˌvəʊt ˈnəʊ/ [verb phrase]

to refuse to accept a plan, proposal, or new law by voting :

▪ The majority of union members voted against further industrial action.

▪ Homeowners voted against new bonds and higher taxes.

▪ Only Councilwoman Shirley Lanion voted no.

vote no on something

▪ I urge you to vote no on Measure A.

▷ veto /ˈviːtəʊ/ [transitive verb]

to use your position of power to refuse to allow something to happen, especially something that other people, organizations, or countries have agreed :

▪ European plans to deregulate air fares were vetoed by Spain.

▪ Requests to take foster children abroad are often vetoed by the biological parent.

▪ The governor vetoed a bill that would have given some much-needed money to public libraries.

veto [countable/uncountable noun]

▪ As a result of the president’s veto the inner-cities program will not now go ahead.

▷ give something the thumbs down also turn thumbs down on something American /gɪv something ðə ˌθʌmz ˈdaʊn, tɜːʳn ˌθʌmz ˈdaʊn ɒn something/ [verb phrase] informal

to reject a plan or suggestion :

▪ The commission wisely gave the golf course proposal the thumbs down.

▪ The city council turned thumbs down on Marison’s new proposal, citing potential parking problems.

3. to state very firmly that you do not agree with something

▷ reject /rɪˈdʒekt/ [transitive verb not in progressive]

▪ The belief that the children of working mothers suffer is rejected by most child psychologists.

▪ The audience is free to accept or reject Stone’s interpretation of the facts.

reject a suggestion/idea/notion etc that

▪ Bush rejected suggestions that his tax cuts favored the most wealthy.

▪ The author rejected accusations that his novel is blasphemous, but apologized for any offense it had caused.

▷ not accept /nɒt əkˈsept/ [verb phrase]

to not accept a statement, explanation, or decision because you think it is wrong or untrue :

▪ Our managers claim the new system will increase efficiency but I don’t accept that.

▪ He said he wouldn’t accept any excuses for missing the deadline.

▷ dismiss /dɪsˈmɪs/ [transitive verb not in progressive]

to refuse to accept someone’s opinions, suggestions, proof etc without even considering it :

▪ The judge dismissed most of the police evidence, saying it was clearly fabricated.

▪ One leader dismissed the conference’s findings on the environment as unproven.

dismiss something out of hand

dismiss completely without any consideration at all

▪ The argument for higher tariffs cannot be dismissed out of hand.

4. to reject ideas, beliefs, or ways of living

▷ reject /rɪˈdʒekt/ [transitive verb]

to reject ideas, beliefs, or ways of living, especially when you used to accept them in the past :

▪ As an adult, she rejected her Catholic upbringing.

▪ Vegetarians reject the idea that you must eat meat to get all the nutrients you need.

▪ Feminists rejected traditional notions of the role of women in society.

rejection /rɪˈdʒekʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

reject of

▪ Sometimes she began to question her outright rejection of her parents’ values.

▷ turn your back on /ˌtɜːʳn jɔːʳ ˈbæk ɒn/ [verb phrase]

to completely change your former beliefs and way of life, especially because you now think that they were wrong :

▪ I had a sense of relief as I turned my back on the disasters of my first marriage.

▪ Some journalists accused him of turning his back on a lot of the party’s major principles.

▷ scorn /skɔːʳn/ [transitive verb]

to reject ideas, values, or behaviour because you think they are stupid, wrong, or old-fashioned :

▪ My kids used to scorn my politics as right-wing selfishness.

scorn something as something

▪ Many young people scorn polite behaviour as insincere.

▷ drop out /ˌdrɒp ˈaʊtǁˌdrɑːp-/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to refuse to live the way that other people usually live in your society, for example by not working in a job or living in an ordinary house :

▪ While kids in the affluent sixties could afford to drop out, things were very different ten years later.

▪ A group of young people dropped out and set up a commune in the middle of the forest.

5. to reject someone who wants to be friendly or help you

▷ reject /rɪˈdʒekt/ [transitive verb]

to refuse to speak or listen to someone who wants to be friendly with you or wants to help you :

▪ Samantha had consistently rejected all Bob’s offers of help.

▪ She’s scared to try to talk to him about it in case he rejects her again.

▪ As a child he was repeatedly rejected by both parents.

rejection /rɪˈdʒekʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

▪ Of course, you always risk rejection when you first ask someone out.

▷ rebuff /rɪˈbʌf/ [transitive verb]

to reject someone’s friendly invitation or offer in an unpleasant or rude way, so that they feel offended :

▪ She rebuffed all my attempts to make things up between us, till eventually my patience snapped.

▪ Despite being rebuffed again and again, he continued to phone her.

▷ give somebody the brush-off /ˌgɪv somebody ðə ˈbrʌʃ ɒf/ [verb phrase] informal

to refuse to accept someone’s help, friendship, invitations etc in a rude and unfriendly way :

▪ Russell tried to give me the brush-off, but I don’t give up that easily.

▪ The new director of the Urban League was given the brush-off by City Hall.

▷ snub /snʌb/ [transitive verb]

to deliberately behave in an unfriendly way to someone, for example by ignoring them or being rude to them, so that they feel hurt :

▪ Rosanna felt snubbed when she wasn’t invited to the wedding.

▪ High-schoolers will often snub anyone they feel is different or strange.

▪ When the college invited him to speak, he was snubbed by students who felt his policies were unfair to minorities.

snub [countable noun]

▪ The assistant director took it as a snub when he was not invited to the conference.

▷ ostracize also ostracise British /ˈɒstrəsaɪzǁˈɑː-/ [transitive verb]

if a group of people ostracize a person or another group, they refuse to talk to them and make them feel that they are strongly disliked :

▪ Many young people are unwilling to admit that they are gay because they fear being ostracized.

▪ He had committed crimes so appalling that even other prisoners ostracized him.

▷ shun /ʃʌn/ [transitive verb]

to refuse to accept or be friendly with someone, especially because they are different from you in some way or have done something that you disapprove of :

▪ Some young women are shunned by their families when they become pregnant outside of marriage.

▪ Recently bereaved widows often feel they are being shunned by people who don’t know what to say to them.

6. to refuse to give someone a job, a place at college etc

▷ reject /rɪˈdʒekt/ [transitive verb]

to formally tell someone, usually in writing, that they have not got the job or chance to study that they have asked for :

▪ Several hundred people applied, but we had to reject nearly all of them.

▪ Ian was rejected by the army because of his bad eyesight.

▪ Jim was rejected by every college he applied to.

rejection /rɪˈdʒekʃ ə n/ [countable/uncountable noun]

▪ I got a rejection from Harvard, but I’m still waiting to hear from UCLA.

▷ turn down /ˌtɜːʳn ˈdaʊn/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to tell someone that they cannot have the job or chance to study that they have asked for, especially when there is a particular reason for doing this :

turn somebody down

▪ When Uncle John tried to join the army, they turned him down because he was too old.

▪ Marion applied for a job teaching in Minneapolis, but she was turned down.

turn down somebody

▪ We automatically turn down any candidate who makes spelling mistakes in their job application.

▷ not accept /nɒt əkˈsept/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to not give someone the job or chance to study that they have asked for :

▪ He applied for several jobs at the amusement park, but wasn’t accepted.

▪ Most universities will not accept anyone without an interview.

7. to refuse very firmly to accept or become involved in something

▷ not have/want anything to do with /nɒt hæv, wɒnt ˌeniθɪŋ tə ˈduː wɪð something ǁ-wɔːnt-/ [verb phrase]

to refuse to take part in an activity or get involved in something because you disapprove of it or think it will not work :

▪ She said the idea was stupid and wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

▪ Most activists don’t want anything to do with violent protests.

▷ turn your nose up at/turn up your nose at /ˌtɜːʳn jɔːʳ ˈnəʊz ʌp æt, ˌtɜːʳn ʌp jɔːʳ ˈnəʊz æt/ [verb phrase] informal

to refuse to accept something that someone offers you because you think it is not good enough for you :

▪ Many older academics turn their noses up at subjects such as Media and Film studies.

▪ He turned up his nose at a job washing dishes.

▷ I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole British /I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole American /aɪ wʊdnt ˌtʌtʃ ɪt wɪð ə ˈbɑːʳdʒ pəʊl, aɪ wʊdnt ˌtʌtʃ ɪt wɪð ə ˌten fʊt ˈpəʊl/

use this to say that you will definitely not accept something, buy something, or get involved in something :

▪ My nephew wants me to invest in his business, but frankly I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.

▪ Millions of people buy those cars, but I wouldn’t touch one with a ten-foot pole.

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