1. A blunt or abrupt repulse or refusal, as to an offer.
2. A check or an abrupt setback to progress or action: a rebuff to his ambitions.
tr.v. re·buffed, re·buff·ing, re·buffs
1. To reject bluntly, often disdainfully; snub: rebuff a person making advances; rebuff a request. See Synonyms at refuse1.
2. To repel or drive back: rebuffed the attack.
[From obsolete French rebuffer, to reject, from Italian ribuffare, from ribuffo, reprimand : ri-, back (from Latin re-; see RE-) + buffo, gust, puff (of imitative origin).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.