1. a blunt or abrupt rejection, as of a person making advances.
  2. a peremptory refusal of a request, offer, etc.; snub.
  3. a check to action or progress.

verb (used with object)

  1. to give a rebuff to; check; repel; refuse; drive away.

verb (tr)

  1. to snub, reject, or refuse (a person offering help or sympathy, an offer of help, etc) abruptly or out of hand
  2. to beat back (an attack); repel


  1. a blunt refusal or rejection; snub
  2. any sudden check to progress or action

1580s, from obsolete French rebuffer “to check, snub,” from Italian ribuffare “to check, chide, snide,” from ribuffo “a snub,” from ri- “back” (from Latin re-, see re-) + buffo “a puff,” of imitative origin (cf. buffet (v.)). Related: Rebuffed; rebuffing.


1610s, from rebuff (v.), or from Middle French rebuffe or Italian ribuffo.

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