refuse

refuse vb *decline, reject, repudiate, spurn
Analogous words: *deny, gainsay: balk, baffle, *frustrate, thwart, foil: debar, *exclude, shut out
refuse n Refuse, waste, rubbish, trash, debris, garbage, offal can all mean matter that is regarded as worthless and fit only for throwing away.
Refuse, ordinarily the most comprehensive term of the group, stresses the rejection of the matter, or its uselessness from the point of view of the owner (as a manufacturer, processor, builder, or housekeeper) and usually implies its being cast aside or thrown away. The term includes anything covered by this description without regard to whether another will find use for it
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a stream polluted by refuse from a manufacturing plant

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heaps of refuse left by the former tenant

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arrangements made by the city to collect refuse

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a road surfaced with the hardened refuse from a neighboring tannery

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Waste may also be a comprehensive term approaching refuse in meaning, but it typically applies to material that is unused by its producer but can or could be useful in other ways or in other circumstances or to other people
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wiped his hands on a wad of cotton waste

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Rubbish is likely to mean an accumulation of useless material and worn-out, broken- down, used up, worthless things
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throw it in the rubbish barrel

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her closets heaped with rubbish

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Trash stresses material of no account (as something worn-out or exhausted of what was good in it or parts discarded in shaping, trimming, or clipping). In general use trash is often employed in place of rubbish as a name for waste materials requiring disposition, but both terms in this sense usually exclude refuse that is animal or vegetable matter.
Debris usually applies to what remains from the breaking up, the disintegration, or the destruction of something (as a building, a wall, or a tree); the term usually suggests a loose accumulation of detritus or broken fragments
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a pile of debris was the only sign that a house was once there

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the sandstone cliffs ... are battered down and their debris carried out to sea— Geikie

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after the air raid nothing was left of the building but a pile of rubble and debris

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Garbage chiefly applies to organic refuse (as from a kitchen, a store, or a market) including waste of animal or vegetable origin or animal or vegetable matter that is or is regarded as unfit for human food.
Offal may refer to something (as chips of wood or pieces of leather) cut off in dressing or fitting for use, but the term is usually applied specifically to the parts of a butchered animal that are removed in dressing the carcass, that consist chiefly of viscera (as liver, kidneys, and heart) and of trimmings (as tail, hooves, blood, and head meat), and that include edible meats and raw materials for processing as well as refuse. But offal may also be applied to carrion and other worthless or distasteful refuse and tends then and in extended use to stress offensiveness or disagreeableness.
All these terms except waste also have extended use; refuse refers usually to something left after the available supply has been thoroughly picked over and therefore implies the worst, the meanest, or the least desirable of the lot
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the refuse of society

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Rubbish may be applied to something (as inferior merchandise or a ridiculous or nonsensical idea, argument, or discussion) that in its worthlessness suggests a heap of trash
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much of the goods in bargain sales is mere rubbish

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most of the stuff talked about Nordics and Aryans is simply rubbishHuxley

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Trash retains its implication of relative worthlessness
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who steals my purse steals trash—Shak.

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most of these paintings are trash, but there are two or three good things

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Debris may be applied to something immaterial or intangible that remains as evidence of what the original thing once was
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those eastern lands which were the debris of Alexander's empire— Buchan

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Garbage also may be applied to something that in comparison with other things of the same sort may be described as filthy or foul
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she flew with voracious appetite to sate herself on the garbage of any circulating library— Porter

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Offal ordinarily applies to persons considered as the lowest or meanest of refuse or as offscourings
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wretches . . . whom everybody now believes to have been ... the offal of gaols and brothels— Macaulay

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Refuse — Re*fuse (r?*f?z ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Refused} ( f?zd ); p. pr. & vb. n. {Refusing}.] [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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • refuse — UK US /rɪˈfjuːz/ verb [I or T] ► 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… …   Financial and business terms

  • refuse — Ⅰ. refuse [1] ► VERB 1) state that one is unwilling to do something. 2) state that one is unwilling to grant or accept (something offered or requested). 3) (of a horse) decline to jump (a fence or other obstacle). DERIVATIVES refusal noun refuser …   English terms dictionary

  • Refuse — Re*fuse , v. i. To deny compliance; not to comply. [1913 Webster] Too proud to ask, too humble to refuse. Garth. [1913 Webster] If ye refuse . . . ye shall be devoured with the sword. Isa. i. 20. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • refuse — [n] garbage debris, dregs, dross, dump, dust, hogwash*, junk, leavings, litter, muck, offal, rejectamenta*, remains, residue, rubbish, scraps, scum*, sediment, slop*, sweepings, swill, trash, waste, waste matter; concept 260 Ant. assets,… …   New thesaurus

  • Refuse — Ref use (r?f ?s;277), n. [F. refus refusal, also, that which is refused. See {Refuse} to deny.] That which is refused or rejected as useless; waste or worthless matter. [1913 Webster] Syn: Dregs; sediment; scum; recrement; dross. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Refuse — Ref use, a. Refused; rejected; hence; left as unworthy of acceptance; of no value; worthless. [1913 Webster] Everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. 1. Sam. xv. 9. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • refuse — I verb abjure, abnegate, abstain, balk, bar, be obstinate, be unwilling, beg to be excused, cast aside, debar, decline, demur, deny, disaccord with, disallow, disapprove, disavow, disclaim, discountenance, discredit, dismiss, disown, dispense… …   Law dictionary

  • refusé — ● refusé, refusée nom Candidat non admis à un examen. ● refusé, refusée (synonymes) nom Candidat non admis à un examen. Synonymes : ajourné collé (familier) recalé (familier) Contraires …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • refuse — refuse1 [ri fyo͞oz′] vt. refused, refusing [ME refusen < OFr refuser < LL * refusare < L refusus, pp. of refundere: see REFUND1] 1. to decline to accept; reject 2. a) to decline to do, give, or grant …   English World dictionary

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