refusal-n; 3 Senses

Sense Number 1: the act of withholding approval, not accepting

Commentary: REFUSAL[+action][+communication][-acceptance]
NOTE: nominalization: their refusal to cooperate -> they refused to cooperate

Their refusal to cooperate with the U.N. inspectors has made the task difficult.
The town's refusal of a zoning variance has made the property less valuable.
John was disappointed by Mary's refusal of his hand in marriage.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 2: a written message of nonacceptance

Commentary: REFUSAL[+entity][+artifact][+document][+letter][+rejection]
NOTE: refers to a physical document

John has a stack of refusals on his desk from publishers.
Mary thought the thin envelope from the board of admissions looked like a refusal.
My boss assigned me the task of composing and sending out refusals to three job applicants.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2

Sense Number 3: having the option to accept or not accept

Commentary: REFUSAL[+state][+choice][-acceptance]
NOTE: usually in the phrase 'first refusal'
NOTE: refers to the -potential- to reject, not a specific act of rejection (Sense 1)

The contract gives John right of first refusal on these two properties.
That film studio got first refusal on this screenplay.

WordNet 0.0 Sense Numbers: 2