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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

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!"
See also: ink, never, paper, 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, to

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, to
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.
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, to

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, to

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Imariagbe reminded that the Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration will not tolerate the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the state and warned members of the public to desist forthwith or face arrest.
She could not, Lampe said, refuse to allow LGBTQ people to come into her shop to buy mass-produced goods.
"A retail tire shop may not refuse to sell a tire because the owner does not want to sell tires to same sex couples," Lampe wrote.
The officer, a lieutenant with over 20 years of experience, argued that he was aware that state police rules provided for the dismissal of an officer who refuses to follow the lawful order of a superior.
Administrative Remedies When Employees Refuse to Provide Voluntary Statements
Later, at the funeral of Baby Suggs, Sethe refuses to accept the support of the community, and members of the community, in turn, abandon her.
The community will not enter the house, so Sethe refuses to go to the funeral.
In essence, what marks Sethe as Cain is that she refuses to acknowledge the implications of her act and to mourn properly her child.
Sula, however, refuses to be defined, for she feels that she knows herself intimately (121).
The community is bound in hate and refuses to mourn Sula after her death.
In Seattle, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles, prosecutors refuse to allow victims to drop charges after they are filed.
She had not requested that much relief for fear the judge might refuse, making her husband think he had license to beat her.
Tenants and sponsors who short-sightedly refuse to good faith negotiate a conversion plan end up losing money, time and the chance to profit financially and upgrade our aging housing stock.
Co-workers cannot refuse to work with others because of their HTV status any more than they can refuse to work with individuals because of their national origin, age, race, color, sex, or religion.
6) First responders refuse to provide lifesaving first aid based on their opinion that the victim belongs to a high-risk group.