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Rejected vs. Dejected

Rejected and dejected are commonly confused words and are related too! In this grammar article, let us explore these two words and their origin – 

2:42 min read
  Ramya Shankar  —  Grammar Tips
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Rejected is the past tense and past participle of the word reject which means to not agree or accept for something. You reject something when it is unacceptable. For example

·         He rejected my proposal to build a prototype because it involved lot of money.

·         Don’t reject the offer yet, take time to think.

·         I don’t want to reject any candidates just because they are from a poor background.

·         Why have you rejected my offer?

The word has originated from the verb reicere (re + jacere) which means ‘to throw back’.


Dejected as a verb is the past tense of the word deject, which means depress or make someone sad. However, more than often the word dejected is used as an adjective, indicating a sad and depressed person.

·         Don’t get dejected, when one door closes, another opens for good.

·         She was dejected because she failed in her third attempt too.

·         We can’t afford to be dejected because of these small obstacles, our aim is to accomplish bigger things.

Notice that rejection could be one of the reasons for dejection!

For example, if you have been rejected by someone, you can feel dejected (sad or depressed). If you are rejected in an interview, you can be dejected.

Rejected vs. Dejected

The origin of dejected is the verb deicere (de + jacere) which means thrown down.

While the individual meaning is clear, let us see some examples where the difference between these will be clear too and you can then start using these words correctly

·         She felt dejected because her article was rejected five times.

·         I was dejected because in spite of getting good marks, I was rejected and another person with lesser marks was chosen for the position.

·         Don’t be dejected when you face rejection, everything happens for good.

·         Rejecting his profile can deject him, especially because he comes from a very simple background.

Remember that rejection can be from anything – a job, love, proposal, studies and so on. Dejection is a state of mind when you don’t get what you want or deserve.

There could be many reasons other than rejection for being dejected.

·         You may feel dejected because you have not gone to a movie in a long time.

·         You could feel dejected because your kids are taking up all your time giving you no “me-time”!

·         Dejection can even be felt if you have had to cancel your most important trip at the last moment because of something less important but urgent.

Hope you now have an understanding of both the words and can use them appropriately!

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