Is It Rejected or Dejected? How Are These Different?

rejected vs dejected

Language is the primordial tool of communication, therefore using words correctly and distinctly is how we communicate properly. In that same order, there are many words that due to their similar meaning, spelling, or pronunciation can be confusing to tell apart and use correctly. Words like “rejected” and “dejected” are part of the confusion and here we will help you tell them apart and use them properly.

The word “rejected” is used to refer to an offer that has been turned down and in the field of medicine is used to speak of an organ the donor body did not accept. Now, the word “dejected” is a synonym for feeling sad, down, or depressed due to relationship or job troubles. 

We will go over the origin of each of these words and their meaning more in-depth. We will also show you how each can be used in a sentence and the different variations to both these words. We will discuss in which ways these words are connected and what sets them apart from each other, as well as providing a list of examples and synonyms for your reference. So, read on and enjoy.

rejected sign on folder

Origin Of The Word “Rejected”

The word “rejected” comes from the Old French “rejecter” and from the Latin “reiectus” which means to “throw away” or to “cast away”. It can also be translated as “vomit” and it is connected as well to the Latin word “reicere” which translates “to throw back”. 

“Rejected” can be either used as a verb or as a noun. When it is used as a verb it is the past tense of the verb “to reject”, which means to dismiss something or someone as inadequate. It also means that something is unacceptable or faulty. 

The word “rejected” is used in medical terms as a noun, and the meaning is not at all cheerful. When the body of a person who has received an organ transplant has a negative immune response and their body creates antibodies that in the long run destroy the transplanted organ it is said the organ has been “rejected” by the patient. That is why when a person receives a transplant they are given anti-rejection drugs so their body responds appropriately to the new organ.

dejected definition on dictionary

Origin Of The Word “Dejected”

The word “dejected” has its roots in late Middle English, and it means to “make sad”, “dispirited”, or to “depress”. It is also connected to the Latin root of the word “deject” which can mean “overthrow”, “abase” or “degrade”. 

Same as “rejected”, the word “dejected” is both a noun and a verb. The noun form comes from the word “dejection” which means “to be in a state of depression or low spirits”. This comes from the word “dejeccioun” which means “ to be in an unhappy condition”, “degradation” or “humiliation”. “Dejection” is also connected to the Old French, and from the French root it means “abjection”, “depravity” or “a casting down”.

There is more to the word than just the meaning, historically this word has a very special use in literature, in conditions where the protagonist experienced a severe gloom, darkness or emotional sadness. 

Are “Rejected” And “Dejected” Homophone Words?

In the “biblical” sense these words, as similar as they might seem, are not homophones. Their pronunciation is quite similar, with the exception of the first letter, which makes all the difference here, the sound from “R” to “D”. 

Homophones are words with exact same pronunciation, to a point that only by being placed in the correct context while speaking or spelled correctly when writing can be told apart. Otherwise, by the pronunciation keys or the sounds of these words they can not be differentiated easily.

One thing these words of “dejected” and “rejected” share is a portion of their spelling, they both have identical the “ejected” part and when used in this form, with the “ed” at the end they are both on the past tense of their root verbs. However similar in these areas, these words do not meet the criteria to be considered homophones.

dejected sign wide

How To Use “Rejected” In A Sentence

In order to use this word correctly, you first need to acknowledge if it is being used as a noun or as a verb. In the noun form, the correct word to use is “reject” or “a reject”. In the verb form, it is normally the past tense of the verb “to reject” which is “rejected” what we have been talking about in this article.

In the section below you will find a list of examples using “rejected” so you can get a better idea of how to use the word and where to place it in a sentence.

Examples of “Rejected” In A Sentence

  1. My mother rejected my help every time I offered to decorate the house. Parents can be quite stubborn sometimes.
  2. He firmly rejected the offer on the house and said he would never sell.
  3. After weeks of deliberating the Congress rejected the plan proposed by the deputy.
  4. Alison received a letter back from Harvard, it was not good news. She was rejected for the law program, now she has no idea where to go next.
  5. LGBTQ+ teenagers are usually rejected by their peers. This happens particularly in hyper-religious communities and countries where being attracted to the same sex or a variant of it is not a socially acceptable option.
  6. He was so rude to everyone. All they wanted to do was help him get back on his feet and he blatantly rejected the help they offered.
  7. I tend to get defensive and touchy when my work is rejected or criticized publicly. 
  8. Rose rejected all the arguments placed against her, she knew she had done nothing wrong and she was going to stand her ground until she proved her point.
  9. The Prime Minister of England refused and rejected every recommendation made to the Queen by the Three Wise Man.
  10. The store we went to the other day was second hand and you could find a lot of rejected merchandise that was in perfectly good condition.

How To Use “Dejected” In A Sentence

Using “dejected” is not difficult, similar to “rejected” it has both a noun variation and a verb variation. The noun form is “dejection” which we talked about above and the verb form can either be used of the infinitive form “to deject” or in the past tense as we have seen it here “dejected”.

We have provided in the section below some illustrative examples so you know how to properly use “dejected” when writing.

Examples Of “Dejected” In A Sentence

  1. He took so much time to make the proposal perfect. When she turned him down he was beyond dejected.
  2. Lisa, dejected and disappointed, decided to move away and start fresh.
  3. Nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen. I was dejected to say the least.
  4. All their faces were dejected, no one could have prepared them to have their life changed so drastically.
  5. I felt quite dejected once I got off the phone with the headhunter, they liked me a lot but I still didn’t get the job because I didn’t have enough experience.
  6. Depression has many symptoms, feeling dejected is one of the dominant ones.
  7. You would think that only humans are dejected but birds fall down and stay down too.
  8. He looked genuinely pained and was clearly dejected by the unexpected death of his soon to be wife.
  9. The helicopter was fully powered; it was unlikely for it to fall but it dejected anyway.
  10. All you can do when a friend is dejected is to be there for them, listen to their troubles, and offer encouraging words. Sometimes even just sitting in silence helps.

Synonyms of “Rejected”

Here are some common synonyms that can be used in place of the word “rejected”:

  1. Denied
  2. Dismissed
  3. Refused
  4. Renounced
  5. Turned Down
  6. Declined
  7. Discarded
  8. Cast Out
  9. Cast Aside
  10. Pass up

Synonyms Of “Dejected”

Here are some words that can be used in the place of “dejected” in a sentence:

  1. Discouraged
  2. Disheartened
  3. Dispirited
  4. Morose
  5. Glum/Gloomy
  6. Dampened
  7. Heavy Hearted
  8. Bummed Out
  9. Disconsolate
  10. Torn Up

rejected pin subliminal message


As a summary, when thinking of the words “rejected” and “dejected” the first thing we should remember is that despite how similar they appear at first glance they are indeed complete opposites in both meaning and use.

The similarities they share are the same that any other regular verb would when used in the past tense, and to an extent their spelling is quite similar too but they are still not considered homophones.

Both these words have several synonyms that can be effortlessly used and maintain the meaning of what is being said. 

Whenever we write a sentence with them, they will take the place of the verb, unless a variation of them is being used such as “rejection” or “dejection”.

With all these details in mind, you have all the tools at hand to compose your next text freely and use these words as part of your repertoire with confidence. 

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

Recent Posts