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knock back (2) British and Australian English Informal

Meaning: to reject someone or something or to refuse a request for something

Synonym: reject

For example:

  • knock sb/sth back Even though another company offered Sarah a bigger salary, she knocked them back and stayed with our company.

  • knock back sb/sth Lots of men have asked Marylin to marry them, but she has knocked back all of them.

Nouns often used as objects with
knock back (2): request, application, offer, proposal, proposition

Variety: This is typically used in British and Australian English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

The bank knocked back Terry's request for a housing loan, so he couldn't
  1. borrow the house
  2. buy the house
  3. sell the house

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