decline


decline
decline vb Decline, refuse, reject, repudiate, spurn are comparable when they mean to turn away something or someone by not consenting to accept, receive, or consider it or him.
Decline is the most courteous of these terms and is used chiefly in respect to invitations, offers (as of help), or services
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decline an invitation to dinner

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she declined the chair the Judge pushed toward her— Cather

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I am very sensible of the honor of your proposals, but it is impossible for me to do otherwise than decline them— Austen

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Refuse is more positive, often implying decisiveness, even ungraciousness
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meats by the law unclean . . . young Daniel could refuseMilton

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the employers refused to "recognize" the unions— Shaw

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Refuse, how-ever, may imply, as decline does not, the denial of something expected or asked for
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refuse a child permission to go out

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Mark knew that Mrs. Pluepott only lived to receive visitors, and he had not the heart to refuse her the pleasure of a few minutes— Mackenzie

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Reject stresses a throwing away, a discarding, or abandoning; it implies a refusal to have anything to do with a person or thing
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those who accepted the offer and those who rejected it— Montague

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Plotinus definitely rejects the notion that beauty is only symmetry— Ellis

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the poor man must be forgiven a freedom of expression, tinged at rare moments with a touch of bitterness, which magnanimity as well as caution would reject for one triumphant— Cardozo

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common sense, rejecting with scorn all that can be called mysticism— Inge

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Repudiate implies a casting off (as of a wife whom one refuses any longer to recognize or accept); it usually connotes either a disowning or a rejection with scorn as untrue, unauthorized, or unworthy of acceptance
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repudiate a son

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the state has repudiated its debts

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repudiate a religious doctrine or a scientific theory

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I do not see how the United States could accept the contract and repudiate the consequence— Justice Holmes

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it is the law of nature that the strong shall rule; a law which everyone recognizes in fact, though everyone repudiates it in theory— Dickinson

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Spurn carries an even stronger implication of disdain or contempt in rejection than repudiate
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the proposals which she had proudly spurned only four months agoAusten

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he would be spurned out of doors with a kick— Snaith

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must spurn all ease, all hindering love, all which could hold or bind— Lowell

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Analogous words: *demur, balk, shy, boggle, jib, stick, stickle, scruple
Antonyms: accept
Contrasted words: take, *receive: consent, *assent, acquiesce, accede
decline n declension, decadence, *deterioration, degeneration, devolution
Analogous words: &
Contrasted words: see those at DECLENSION

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Decline — De*cline , n. [F. d[ e]clin. See {Decline}, v. i.] 1. A falling off; a tendency to a worse state; diminution or decay; deterioration; also, the period when a thing is tending toward extinction or a less perfect state; as, the decline of life; the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Decline — is a change over time from previously efficient to inefficient organizational functioning, from previously rational to non rational organizational and individual decision making, from previously law abiding to law violating organizational and… …   Wikipedia

  • Decline — De*cline , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Declined}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Declining}.] [OE. declinen to bend down, lower, sink, decline (a noun), F. d[ e]cliner to decline, refuse, fr. L. declinare to turn aside, inflect (a part of speech), avoid; de + clinare …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Decline — De*cline , v. t. 1. To bend downward; to bring down; to depress; to cause to bend, or fall. [1913 Webster] In melancholy deep, with head declined. Thomson. [1913 Webster] And now fair Phoebus gan decline in haste His weary wagon to the western… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • decline — [n1] lessening abatement, backsliding, comedown, cropper*, decay, decrepitude, degeneracy, degeneration, descent, deterioration, devolution, diminution, dissolution, dive, downfall, downgrade, downturn, drop, dwindling, ebb, ebbing, enfeeblement …   New thesaurus

  • decline — [dē klīn′, diklīn′] vi. declined, declining [ME declinen < OFr decliner, to bend, turn aside < L declinare, to bend from, inflect < de , from (see DE ) + clinare, to bend: see LEAN1] 1. to bend, turn, or slope downward or aside 2. a) …   English World dictionary

  • decline — I noun abatement, act of crumbling, act of dwindling, act of falling away, act of lessening, act of losing ground, act of shrinking, act of slipping back, act of wasting away, act of weakening, act of worsening, atrophy, backward step, cheapening …   Law dictionary

  • décliné — ⇒DÉCLINÉ, ÉE, part. passé et adj. I. Part. passé de décliner1. II. Adj. Qui s écarte d une direction donnée. A. [En parlant d un astre] Qui retombe après avoir atteint son point culminant. Les feux des soleils déclinés (RÉGNIER, Prem. poèmes,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • décliné — décliné, ée (dé kli né, née) part. passé. 1°   Fléchi suivant les règles de la déclinaison. Un mot décliné. 2°   Terme de procédure. Dont on n accepte pas la compétence. Cette juridiction déclinée par les parties.    Par extension, refusé. Une… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • decline — ► VERB 1) become smaller, weaker, or less in quality or quantity. 2) politely refuse. 3) (especially of the sun) move downwards. 4) Grammar form (a noun, pronoun, or adjective) according to case, number, and gender. ► NOUN ▪ a gradual and… …   English terms dictionary


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