refuse

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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 ?
It is for no particular item in the tax bill that I refuse to pay it.
Still, it is a handsome income which he is mad enough to refuse.
Miss Woodhouse, as you will not give me your opinion, I must do as well as I can by myself; and I have now quite determined, and really almost made up my mindto refuse Mr.
I mean those things that make a woman refuse to dance with a man or a man to touch an investment.
Sophie," he began, timidly at first and then more and more boldly, "if you wish to refuse one who is not only a brilliant and advantageous match but a splendid, noble fellow.
If you refuse him on my account, I must tell you the whole truth.
But you would use your own judgment: I ask you to obey mine; you refuse.
Frequently I threatened that, if he did not do better, he should have another line: then he would stubbornly refuse to write this line; and I, to save my word, had finally to resort to the expedient of holding his fingers upon the pen, and forcibly drawing his hand up and down, till, in spite of his resistance, the line was in some sort completed.
I refuse to accept this extraordinary mission," Pailleton declared, rising to his feet.
Why do you, who heal others, refuse to help my son?
If you refuse to marry me," he said, "you admit that these reports are true--you admit that you are afraid to face society in the character of my wife.
as weak as water; I can refuse nothing to a pretty woman.
I refuse to leave this spot," answered the Cricket, "until I have told you a great truth.
That an old gentleman of station should fall on his knees to a penniless governess, and burst out laughing because she refused to marry him-- that a penniless governess should refuse a Baronet with four thousand a year--these were mysteries which Miss Crawley could never comprehend.
But as she was dancing the last quadrille with one of the tiresome young men whom she could not refuse, she chanced to be vis-a-vis with Vronsky and Anna.