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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 ?
Successful people refuse to stay down when they get knocked down or fail.
The hydraulic hybrid vehicles will use Bosch Rexroth's Hydrostatic Regenerative Braking (HRB) hybrid system in the Crane Carrier LET2 chassis fitted with a Heil refuse body.
While he didn't debut at two until August, Refuse To Bend took the Group 1 National Stakes on only his second run, and arrived at Newmarket unbeaten, having taken the Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial en route.
Refuse samples were taken from both horizons of both dumpsites, air-dried, ground and sieved through a 2 mm sieve.
But Mr Holmes said: "Kirklees's refuse collectors do a valuable, worthwhile and high-profile job.
Pizer, who is representing Benitez, says doctors who specialize in certain forms of treatment but refuse to provide that treatment to all patients risk running afoul of state and federal laws.
The autobiography of Kenyan human rights activist and political exile Koigi wa Wamwere, I Refuse To Die: My Journey For Freedom is the intensely personal story of Kenya's blood-stained colonial past as encapsulated in Wamwere's life.
However, the physician should not refuse to accept patients because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
QUEBEC CITY -- The recently elected Liberal Quebec government plans to reduce the number of households receiving welfare by 25,000 this year and to cut social assistance benefits by a maximum of $300 per month for those recipients who refuse to accept a job.
Preferential flow in landfills affects the success of in situ biological treatment of the refuse because microorganisms are transported by the flow of leachate, and degradation can occur only when the moisture content of the refuse exceeds 40% (m/m).
Women who refuse to try inserting the female condom and women who try but experience difficulties have different profiles, suggesting that different interventions are needed to promote use in these two groups.
Administrative Remedies When Employees Refuse to Provide Voluntary Statements