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Related to rejection: Social rejection


tr.v. re·ject·ed, re·ject·ing, re·jects
a. To refuse to accept, submit to, believe, or make use of: He rejected their version of what happened. The store rejected the merchandise because it was damaged. See Synonyms at refuse1.
b. To refuse to consider or grant; deny: The manager rejected all requests for time off. The college rejected the student's application.
a. To turn down (an applicant, as for a job); refuse to accept.
b. To refuse to accept (someone) as a lover, spouse, or friend; rebuff.
c. To refuse to give sufficient parental affection or care to (a child or young animal).
3. To spit out or vomit: The baby rejected the medicine.
4. Medicine To react to the introduction of (a transplanted organ or tissue) with a destructive immune response; fail to accept as part of one's own body.
n. (rē′jĕkt)
1. One that has been rejected: a reject from the varsity team; a tire that is a reject.
2. Slang A foolish or socially inept person.

[Middle English rejecten, from Latin rēicere, rēiect- : re-, re- + iacere, to throw; see yē- in Indo-European roots.]

re·ject′er, re·jec′tor n.
re·jec′tion (-jĕk′shən) adj.
re·jec′tive adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. Cast away [anger] like spoiled milk —Marge Piercy
  2. Discarded like outmoded customs —Elyse Sommer
  3. Discarded (me) like yesterday’s underpants —Sue Grafton
  4. Dropped … like a dead fish —T. Glen Coughlin
  5. Dropped [from a list] … like a hot rivet —Loren D. Estleman
  6. He shook them [young women] off his back like a young stallion shaking off an unskilled rider —Russell Banks
  7. Keep at a distance, like someone with an infectious disease —Anon

    The many twists on this usually refer to a specific diseases, whatever is most feared. Like so many phrases that have been mainstreamed into our language, this can be traced back to a line from Shakespeare, in this case: “Barred, like one infectious.”

  8. Push her away like a clinging dog —Daphne du Maurier
  9. Push me aside like a kitchen chair —Philip Levine
  10. Put (such thoughts) aside like chewed-up grapeskins —Bertold Brecht
  11. Rejected [bad news] … like a transplanted organ —Pat Conroy
  12. Rejected [praise] like counterfeit money —William Mcllvanney
  13. Shoved aside like a row boat nosed away by a tanker —Mary Gordon
  14. Shun him like the plague —Charles Dickens
  15. Some men, like spaniels, will only fawn the more when repulsed, but will pay little heed to a friendly caress —Abd-el-Kader
  16. Spurn my passion like a worm —Jean Racine
  17. Swept her aside as if she were a cobweb —Susan Kelly
  18. They just dropped me … like a bag of potatoes —Njabulo Ndebele
  19. Threw aside everything … like a contemptible burden —Heinrich Böll
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



(See also EXPULSION.)

blackball To exclude; to cast a negative vote against a candidate or applicant seeking admission to a select group. Such adverse votes were formerly cast by placing a black ball in the ballot box. Thus, the term came to mean to reject or exclude in any sense, though its most frequent application is still in reference to membership rejection by fraternities or other socially prestigious, exclusive organizations. It has been in use since 1770.

blacklist To bar or exclude from something as work or a club; also, the list of people so excluded; hence, those under suspicion, censure, or otherwise out of favor with the powers that be. The expression, in use since 1692, is said to date from the reign of Charles II of England, with reference to the list of individuals implicated in the trial and execution of his father, Charles I.

cut off with a shilling To disinherit, especially by bequeathing a shilling or other nominal sum to show that the disinheritance was deliberate. This expression is said to have arisen from the erroneous belief that English law was the same as Roman in assuming forget-fulness or unsoundness of mind on the part of the testator who neglected to name close relatives in his will. Out of this grew the practice of giving the scorned heir a shilling or other trifling sum to show that he had not been omitted as an oversight. Although this precise expression dates from 1834, the concept and practice date from much earlier:

My eldest son John … I do disinherit and wholly cut off from any part of this my personal estate, by giving him a single cockle shell. (Joseph Addison, The Tatler, 1710)

The original sense of this phrase has been distorted in time and it is popularly misconstrued today as to cut off without a shilling.

Dear John letter A letter from a woman telling her boyfriend, fiancé, or husband that she is jilting him for someone else. Usually a Dear John letter is sent to a man who has been separated from the woman by both time and distance, as a soldier overseas.

“Dear John,” the letter began. “I have found someone else whom I think the world of. I think the only way out is for us to get a divorce,” it said. They usually began like that, those letters that told of infidelity on the part of the wives of servicemen … the men called them “Dear Johns.” (Democrat and Chronicle [Rochester, N.Y.], August 17, 1945)

get the hook To have one’s performance abruptly terminated; to be fired; to receive or be subjected to dismissal. This expression recalls the days of vaudeville when more than a few marginally talented or outrageously untalented performers were forcefully removed from the stage by means of a long stick with a hooked end, somewhat like an elongated cane. In contemporary usage, however, get the hook and a variation, give the hook, are usually figurative.

give a basket To refuse to wed; to discard a fiancé. This expression, derived from the old German custom of placing a basket on the roof of a jilted sweetheart’s house, is seldom heard today.

give the air To suddenly jilt a lover or sweetheart; to abruptly fire an employee; also, give the wind. Figuratively, this expression might imply either that a person is given nothing, or that he is propelled from another’s presence by a blast of air.

I couldn’t change her views … nor could she convert me to hers, even when she threatened to give me the air. (R. Graves, Seven Days in New Crete, 1949)

give the bag To leave a paramour suddenly or unexpectedly; to discharge a person from his job or duties. This phrase carried a nearly reverse meaning, i.e., to ‘quit a job without giving the employer proper notice,’ before developing its current figurative usage as a reference to the plight of a jilted lover.

Sent away, with a flea in your ear; some girl has given you the bag. (John Neal, Brother Jonathan, 1825)

give the cold shoulder To display indifference or disregard toward; to ignore or snub; also to show the cold shoulder. Although the exact origin of this expression is unknown, it has been suggested that cold shoulder refers to the cold shoulder of meat reputedly once served to unwelcome guests so as to discourage their return. The phrase has been in use since 1816.

give the gate To reject or dismiss; to give someone the brush-off; to fire, or let go from employment. This expression, as well as get the gate ‘to be rejected or jilted,’ is said to be an Americanism dating from the early 1900s. However, grant the gate ‘to give leave to go’ (OED) appeared in print as long ago as the middle of the 15th century.

The King grantit the gait to Schir Gawane,
And prayt to the grete God to grant him his grace.
(Golagros and Gawane, 1470)

In the transition from grant the gate to give the gate, a significant change took place. Today one “gives the gate” in a spirit of disaffection and alienation, whereas based on the above quotation, good will and magnanimity inspired the King to “grant the gate” to Gawane.

She billed you for an extra month because Monnie gave her the gate. (E. Fenwick, Impeccable People, 1971)

give the mitten To jilt a sweetheart; to reject a romantically inclined admirer; to discharge an employee. There are several possible sources of this expression: the medieval French custom of giving a mitten to an unsuccessful suitor; the custom of throwing down a glove to signify defiance or rejection; or a derivation from the Latin mittere ‘to dismiss.’

Some said that Susan had given her young man the mitten … she had signified that his services as a suitor were dispensed with. (Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Guardian Angel, 1867)

gong [someone] To terminate a person’s performance before its completion; to fire; to dismiss rudely. This expression stems from the custom in many local and national talent contests of ringing a bell or striking an Oriental-type gong to signify that, in the opinion of the judges, an act is so bad that it does not merit continuation. This concept has been popularized, if not vulgarized, by “The Gong Show,” a television series of the late 1970s.

turn up one’s nose at To regard with disdain, to show contempt for; to reject or refuse scornfully; snub.

What learning there was in those days … turned up its nose at the strains of the native minstrels. (Bayard Taylor, Studies in German Literature, 1879)

Dating from the early 19th century, this expression is perhaps an allusion to the way one wrinkles up one’s nose at a particularly distasteful odor, or to the way animals, especially dogs and cats, sniff at their food before eating and walk away if the smell fails to suit them. A similar phrase is to have one’s nose in the air ‘to be arrogant or condescending.’ The gestural equivalent of the expression consists of putting the forefinger under the tip of the nose and pushing it up slightly.

whistle [someone] down the wind To forsake, abandon, or discard. This expression appeared in Shakespeare’s Othello:

If I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
I’d whistle her off and let her down the wind,
To prey at fortune. (III, iii)

In bygone days, a hawk was released against the wind when pursuing game. If the bird was being set free, however, it was released with the wind. In figurative usage, the expression often implies the jilting of a paramour.

Having accepted my love, you cannot whistle me down the wind as though I were of no account. (Anthony Trollope, Castle Richmond, 1860)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.rejection - the act of rejecting somethingrejection - the act of rejecting something; "his proposals were met with rejection"
human action, human activity, act, deed - something that people do or cause to happen
brush-off - a curt or disdainful rejection
avoidance, shunning, turning away, dodging - deliberately avoiding; keeping away from or preventing from happening
abandonment, desertion, forsaking - the act of giving something up
forgoing, forswearing, renunciation - the act of renouncing; sacrificing or giving up or surrendering (a possession or right or title or privilege etc.)
nonacceptance, turndown - the act of refusing an offer; "the turndown was polite but very firm"
banishment, proscription - rejection by means of an act of banishing or proscribing someone
displacement - act of removing from office or employment
2.rejection - the state of being rejected
situation, state of affairs - the general state of things; the combination of circumstances at a given time; "the present international situation is dangerous"; "wondered how such a state of affairs had come about"; "eternal truths will be neither true nor eternal unless they have fresh meaning for every new social situation"- Franklin D.Roosevelt
apostasy, defection, renunciation - the state of having rejected your religious beliefs or your political party or a cause (often in favor of opposing beliefs or causes)
disfavor, disfavour - the state of being out of favor; "he is in disfavor with the king"
excommunication, censure, exclusion - the state of being excommunicated
reprobation - rejection by God; the state of being condemned to eternal misery in Hell
acceptance - the state of being acceptable and accepted; "torn jeans received no acceptance at the country club"
3.rejection - (medicine) an immunological response that refuses to accept substances or organisms that are recognized as foreign; "rejection of the transplanted liver"
medical specialty, medicine - the branches of medical science that deal with nonsurgical techniques
organic phenomenon - (biology) a natural phenomenon involving living plants and animals
4.rejection - the speech act of rejecting
speech act - the use of language to perform some act
renunciation, repudiation - rejecting or disowning or disclaiming as invalid; "Congressional repudiation of the treaty that the President had negotiated"
repulse, snub, rebuff - an instance of driving away or warding off
short shrift, summary treatment - a brief and unsympathetic rejection; "they made short shrift of my request"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. refusal, turning down, declining, dismissal, spurning, rebuff, knock-back, non-acceptance a clear rejection of the government's policies
3. rebuff, refusal, knock-back (slang), kick in the teeth (slang), bum's rush (slang), the (old) heave-ho (informal), brushoff (slang) These feelings of rejection and hurt remain.
rebuff selection, acceptance
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. A negative response:
2. A refusal to grant the truth of a statement or charge:
Law: traversal.
3. A turning down of a request:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
pouvoir de rejetrejetrépudiation


A. N (gen) → rechazo m; [of help] → denegación f
to meet with a rejectionsufrir una repulsa
the novel has already had three rejectionsya han rechazado la novela tres veces
B. CPD rejection slip N (Publishing) → nota f de rechazo
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[rɪˈdʒɛkʃən] n
(= refusal) [offer, application] → rejet m
Be prepared for lots of rejections before you get a job
BUT Soyez prêt à voir beaucoup de vos candidatures rejetées avant d'obtenir un poste.; Soyez prêt à essuyer beaucoup de refus avant d'obtenir un poste.
[idea, authority] → rejet
(by person, lover)abandon m
(MEDICINE) [organ] → rejet mrejection slip nlettre f de refusreject shop [ˈriːdʒɛktʃɒp] nboutique f d'articles de second choix
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(of damaged goods etc, by customer) → Ablehnung f, → Zurückweisung f; (by maker, producer)Aussortierung f, → Ausscheidung f
(= turning down, of application, request, offer etc) → Ablehnung f; (stronger) → Abweisung f, → Zurückweisung f; (of suitor, advances)Abweisung f, → Zurückweisung f; (of criticism, plea)Zurückweisung f; (of idea, possibility)Verwerfen nt
(Med) (of drug)Ablehnung f; (of transplant)Abstoßung f; (of food by stomach)Verweigerung f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[rɪˈdʒɛkʃn] n (of offer, applicant) → rifiuto; (of new organ) → rigetto
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(rəˈdʒekt) verb
to refuse to accept. She rejected his offer of help; He asked her to marry him, but she rejected him.
(ˈriːdʒekt) noun
something that is rejected because it is faulty etc.
reˈjection (-ʃən) noun
(an) act of rejecting.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


n. rechazo, reacción inmunológica de incompatibilidad a células de tejidos transplantados;
acute ______ agudo;
chronic ______ crónico;
hyperacute ______ hiperagudo.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n rechazo; to tolerate rejection..tolerar el rechazo
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
In the early days after his return from Moscow, whenever Levin shuddered and grew red, remembering the disgrace of his rejection, he said to himself: "This was just how I used to shudder and blush, thinking myself utterly lost, when I was plucked in physics and did not get my remove; and how I thought myself utterly ruined after I had mismanaged that affair of my sister's that was entrusted to me.
The rejection slip was so tactfully worded that he felt kindly toward the editor.
I really felt very dejected at this not of course entirely unexpected rejection,--if one might use the word for a situation on which had just been set the seal of so unmistakable a kiss; but the vision in my heart seemed to smile at me in high and happy triumph.
Hurriedly turning, with averted face, he descended into his cabin, leaving the strange captain transfixed at this unconditional and utter rejection of his so earnest suit.
If such men will make a firm and solemn pause, and meditate dispassionately on the importance of this interesting idea; if they will contemplate it in all its attitudes, and trace it to all its consequences, they will not hesitate to part with trivial objections to a Constitution, the rejection of which would in all probability put a final period to the Union.
They who promote the idea of substituting a number of distinct confederacies in the room of the plan of the convention, seem clearly to foresee that the rejection of it would put the continuance of the Union in the utmost jeopardy.
As I must therefore conclude that you are not serious in your rejection of me, I shall choose to attribute it to your wish of increasing my love by suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females."
To Ethan there was something vaguely ominous in this stolid rejection of free food and warmth, and he wondered what had happened on the drive to nerve Jotham to such stoicism.
I was in the mean time printing the material of Venetian Life and the Italian Journeys in a Boston newspaper after its rejection by the magazines; and my literary life, almost without my willing it, had taken the course of critical observance of books and men in their actuality.
"Is that tantamount, sir, to acceptance, or rejection, or consideration?"
The populace think that your rejection of popular standards is a rejection of all standard, and mere antinomianism; and the bold sensualist will use the name of philosophy to gild his crimes.
I shall try to make my reasons for this rejection clear as we proceed.