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an offer (one) can't refuse

An offer in which the repercussions for refusing would be so great that to do so would be either be dangerous or ill-advised. It often implies the "offer" is a threat, but this is not always the case. The phrase was coined by Mario Puzo in his 1969 novel The Godfather, and popularized by the 1972 Francis Ford Coppola film adaptation of the same name. If he's not willing to agree to the contract, I might have to bring a few men over and make him an offer he can't refuse. The buyout deal was worth $9 billion to the company, so, really, it was an offer we couldn't refuse.
See also: offer, refuse

refuse (something) to (one)

To decline to give or grant something to one. The prison guard was accused of refusing medical treatment to dozens of inmates. Unfortunately, the company is completely within their rights to refuse insurance benefits to new employees.
See also: refuse

refuse to (do something)

To indicate or express that one is unwilling or determined not to do something. He refused to sign the contract because he would have to relinquish creative control of the project. I tried to call to apologize to her, but she's refusing to answer her phone.
See also: refuse

*offer one cannot refuse

Cliché a very attractive offer. (*Typically: give one ~; make ~; make one ~.) He made me an offer I could not refuse, so I sold him my car.
See also: cannot, offer, one, refuse

refuse something to someone

to deny someone permission to receive or use something. You wouldn't refuse water to me, would you? Nothing at all was refused to the new employee.
See also: refuse

refuse to do something

to reject doing something; to reject a request to do something. I absolutely refuse to go there! We all refused to break the law.
See also: refuse

will not hear of something

 and won't hear of something
will refuse to tolerate or permit something. You mustn't drive home alone. I will not hear of it. My parents won't hear of my staying out that late.
See also: hear, not, of, will
References in periodicals archive ?
They are trying to portray he refused to play which is serious and why he was vilified.
if he refused to return the $1 million to his friend.
Of the 179 visits by destitute refused asylum seekers, 132 visits were by people who had been destitute for over six months.
Manitoba and Saskatchewan marriage commissioners, who disapproved of SSM; Royal Bank-Toronto employees, who refused to display rainbow triangles on their desks.
The ACLJ is representing tour pharmacists in Illinois who were fired after they refused to fill prescriptions for "morning-after" pills.
MAKING INFERENCES: Would the boycott have been effective if only some blacks had refused to ride Montgomery buses?
Even after he moved to Minnesota, Wisconsin legislators were rushing to his defense, pushing legislation to "protect" pharmacists who refused to dispense products they felt led to the "planned, calculated destruction of human life.
However, the PQ government never enforced these regulations, and had opted for a $75 per month assistance cut for any recipient who refused training.
But an administration review committee headed by CIA Director George Tenet has refused to declassify anything even referring to the existence of PDBs.
When offered the chance to practice inserting the female condom in themselves, only 5% of women refused, citing lack of interest in the method.
The court held that, "the subjective fears of [the] defendant as to what might happen if he refused to answer his superior officers [were not] sufficient to bring him within Garrity 's cloak of protection.
Pharmacist Karen Brauer stuck with her religious and ethical beliefs and refused to fill a prescription for an abortion-causing medication.
Under a proposed rule issued in the waning days of the Clinton Administration, any importer or consignee with an imported food that has been refused for "safety reasons" would be required to mark, in the presence of U.
The OFCCP wants to examine salary and promotion practices in executive positions, but Beverly has refused access to its premises and personnel data, claiming that it has been unfairly targeted for review and that its constitutional right against illegal search and seizure had been violated.