disobedience (n.)

"neglect or refusal to obey," c. 1400, from Old French desobedience, from Vulgar Latin *disobedientia (replacing Latin inobedientia) from Latin dis- (see dis-) + oboedientia "obedience," abstract noun from oboedientem (nominative oboediens), present participle of oboedire "to obey" (see obey). The English word replaced earlier desobeissance in this sense, and inobedience (c. 1200).

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abstention (n.)
Origin and meaning of abstention

1520s, "a holding off, refusal to do something," from French abstention (Old French astencion), from Late Latin abstentionem (nominative abstentio) "the act of retaining," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin abstinere/abstenere "withhold, keep back, keep off," from assimilated form of ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"). As "a refraining from voting" by 1859.

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recusant (adj.)

"obstinate in refusal," 1610s, from Latin recusantem (nominative recusans) "refusing to obey," present participle of recusare "make an objection against; decline, refuse, reject; be reluctant to" (see recuse).

Earlier as a noun in English history, specifically of those who refused to attend divine service in Anglican churches (1550s), a punishable offense, enforcement of which fell heavily on Roman Catholics. The original use of the adjective also is in reference to this.

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refuse (n.)

mid-14c., "an outcast;" mid-14c., "a rejected thing, waste material, trash," from Old French refus "waste product, rubbish; refusal, denial, rejection," a back-formation from the past participle of refuser "reject, disregard, avoid" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *refusare, frequentative form from past participle stem of Latin refundere "give back, restore, return," literally "pour back, flow back," from re- "back" (see re-) + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour"). As an adjective in English from late 14c., "despised, rejected;" early 15c., "of low quality."

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retraction (n.)

late 14c., retraccioun, "withdrawal of an opinion," from Latin retractionem (nominative retractio) "a drawing back, hesitation, refusal," noun of action from past-participle stem of retractare "revoke, cancel," from re- "back" (see re-) + tractere "draw violently," frequentative of trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Originally the English title of a book by St. Augustine ("Retraciones") correcting his former writings. General sense of "a withdrawal or drawing back" is from early 15c. The meaning "recantation of opinion with admission of error" is from 1540s.

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rejection (n.)

"act of throwing off or away; refusal to accept or grant," 1550s, from French réjection (16c.) or directly from Latin reiectionem (nominative reiectio) "act of throwing back," noun of action from past-participle stem of reicere (see reject (v.)).

In 19c., it also could mean "excrement." An earlier use was "setting aside of a wife, divorce" (mid-15c.). Medical transplant sense is from 1954. In the psychological sense, relating to parenting, from 1931.

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peremptory (adj.)

mid-15c., peremptorie, "absolute, allowing no refusal," a legal term, from Anglo-French peremptorie, from Late Latin peremptorius "destructive, decisive, final," from peremptor "destroyer," agent noun from past-participle stem of Latin perimpere "destroy, cut off," from per "away entirely, to destruction" (see per) + emere (past participle emptus) "to take" (from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute"). Of persons or their words, "certain, assured, brooking no debate or question," 1580s. Related: Peremptorily.

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barney (n.)

British slang word of uncertain origin, attested from 1859 as "a fixed or sham prize-fight," also "lark, spree, rough enjoyment;" 1864 as "noisy dispute."

"Notes and Queries," from March 21, 1863, describes Barnard Castle, the market town in Teesdale, as having "no enviable reputation. Longstaffe supposes that Sir George Bowes's refusal to fight with the rebels during the rising of the north, gave rise to the contemptuous distich:

'Coward, a coward of Barney Castell,
Dare not come out to fight a battel' "

And adds that "Come, come, that's a Barna' Cassell," is "a reproof to an exaggerator, or liar."

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comment (n.)
Origin and meaning of comment

late 14c., "explanation, spoken or written remark," from Old French coment "commentary" or directly from Late Latin commentum "comment, interpretation," in classical Latin "invention, fabrication, fiction," neuter past participle of comminisci "to contrive, devise," from com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + base of meminisse "to remember," related to mens (genitive mentis) "mind" (from PIE root *men- (1) "to think").

The Latin word meaning "something invented" was taken by Isidore and other Christian theologians for "interpretation, annotation." No comment as a stock refusal to answer a journalist's question is first recorded 1950, from Truman's White House press secretary Charles Ross.

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refuse (v.)

c. 1300, "reject, spurn, decline" a request, demand, invitation, etc.; also intransitive, "to make refusal;" from Old French refuser "reject, disregard, avoid" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *refusare, a frequentative verb from the past-participle stem of Latin refundere "give back, restore, return," literally "pour back, flow back," from re- "back" (see re-) + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour").

The intransitive meaning "refuse to do something" is from late 14c.; that of "fail to comply" is from 1520s (originally of horses); that of "repudiate, disown, disavow" is attested from early 15c. but now is obsolete. Nares reports that God refuse me! was "formerly a fashionable imprecation." Related: Refused; refusing

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
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