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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, one, 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 classic literature ?
Without some encouragement from Hardyman's father and mother she still steadily refused to become his wife.
The two ladies in the dining-room (where worthy Miss Briggs was delighted to be admitted once more to confidential conversation with her patroness) wondered to their hearts' content at Sir Pitt's offer, and Rebecca's refusal; Briggs very acutely suggesting that there must have been some obstacle in the shape of a previous attachment, otherwise no young woman in her senses would ever have refused so advantageous a proposal.
Nonsense, my dear, you would never have refused him had there not been some one else in the case," Miss Crawley said, coming to her point at once.
Ma tante is ACTUALLY ANGRY that I should have refused him.
She had refused five partners, and now she was not dancing the mazurka.
No one but she herself understood her position; no one knew that she had just refused the man whom perhaps she loved, and refused him because she had put her faith in another.
Many more licences are being refused after recommendations made following the deaths of Susan McGoldrick, her sister Alison Turnbull and niece Tanya Turnbull in Horden, near Peterlee.
Some were asked to think about a time they had upset someone and apologised, others a time when they upset someone and refused to apologise and others a time when they upset someone and neither said sorry nor refused to.
The Argentine incurred the fine after City boss Roberto Mancini claimed he refused to go on as a sub in City's 2-0 Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich last month.
Figures published by the Welsh Refugee Council show that many who are refused asylum in the UK would rather remain destitute here than face danger in their home countries.
Less than two months ahead of the elections for Parliament, Stanishev's Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and Borissov's Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria (abbreviated as GERB in Bulgarian) refused to join hands to solve a problem directly affecting the well-being of more than 1.
City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo said Wednesday that officials at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital have refused to turn over records and cooperate in the city's investigation into recent allegations that a paraplegic patient was dumped on Skid Row.
2000: Ontario printer Scott Brockie, who refused lesbian/gay advocacy business.
That happened in the case of Guadalupe Benitez, who was refused fertility treatment by the North Coast Women's Care Medical Group in Vista, Calif.
The issue became prominent last year after pharmacists in several slates refused to fill prescriptions for birth-control pills or so-called "morning-after" drugs that opponents say induce abortion.