refuse(redirected from refuses)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
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.
paper never refused ink
People are able to write whatever they want, however inaccurate or misleading. A: "It seems like all manner of nonsense is being printed these days." B: "Well, paper never refused ink!"
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.
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*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.
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.
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.
will not hear of somethingand 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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.