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, 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 ?
They have no legal right to violate the Ontario Human Rights Code, by refusing to perform a burlesque of a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple in the aftermath of the ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.
By standing firm and refusing to pay Brillinger $5,000 in damages, Brockie could have been found guilty of contempt of court and consigned to jail.
The OFCCP sued and Administrative Law Judge Larry Price held that Beverly had no grounds for refusing access.
The tenants also claimed that they were compelled to deal directly with O&Y out of necessity because O&Y had a policy of refusing to deal with brokers.
5) In other words, the officers involved in the scheme were put in the position of either answering the questions and subjecting themselves to possible criminal prosecution, or refusing to answer the questions and facing dismissal from the police force.
The charge: refusing to prescribe birth-control pills.
For the dozens of teachers who were refusing to submit, it was a hopeful moment.
The court also held that the defendants did not violate the Establishment Clause by allowing other religious groups to present programs on the religious channel of the prison television network and refusing to show programs of the prisoner's religious group.
How the Bishop of Calgary fulfills his Gospel responsibilities by refusing to speak to one of Western Canada's largest newspapers about the Bishop of Rome's teachings is something only a bishop could understand.