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From Late Middle English rejecten, from Latin rēiectus, past participle of reicere (to throw back), from re- (back) + iacere (to throw). Displaced native Old English āweorpan (literally to throw out).


  • (verb) enPR: rĭjĕktʹ, IPA(key): /ɹɪˈdʒɛkt/
    • (file)
  • (noun) enPR: rēʹjĕkt, IPA(key): /ˈɹiː.dʒɛkt/
  • Hyphenation: re‧ject
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛkt


reject (third-person singular simple present rejects, present participle rejecting, simple past and past participle rejected)

  1. (transitive) To refuse to accept.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      One morning I had been driven to the precarious refuge afforded by the steps of the inn, after rejecting offers from the Celebrity to join him in a variety of amusements. But even here I was not free from interruption, for he was seated on a horse-block below me, playing with a fox terrier.
    She even rejected my improved offer.
  2. (basketball) To block a shot, especially if it sends the ball off the court.
  3. To refuse a romantic advance.
    I've been rejected three times this week.
    • 2011, Lenka and Ben H. Allen (lyrics and music), “Roll with the Punches”, in Two[1], performed by Lenka:
      It's unexpected / It usually is / When you're rejected / Or you take a hit


(refuse to accept):


(refuse to accept):

Derived termsEdit



reject (plural rejects)

  1. Something that is rejected.
  2. (derogatory slang) An unpopular person.
  3. (colloquial) A rejected defective product in a production line.
  4. (aviation) A rejected takeoff.