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From Late Middle English rejecten, from Latin rēiectus, past participle of rēicere (to throw back), from rē- (back) + iacere (to throw). Displaced native Middle English forwerpen (to reject) (from Old English forweorpan), Middle English forcasten (to reject, throw away) (from Old Norse forkasta), Middle English skirpen (to reject, spew out) (from Old Norse skirpa (to reject, spit out)), Middle English wernen (to refuse, reject) (from Old English wiernan (to refuse, reject)), Middle English withchosen, withchesen (to reject, choose against) (from Old English wiþċēosan (to reject)).


  • (verb) enPR: rĭjĕktʹ, IPA(key): /ɹɪˈdʒɛkt/
    • (file)
  • (noun) enPR: rēʹjĕkt, IPA(key): /ˈɹiːdʒɛkt/
  • 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.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      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.





reject (plural rejects)

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


Related terms[edit]