verb re·pel \ri-ˈpel\

: to keep (something) out or away

: to force (an enemy, attacker, etc.) to stop an attack and turn away

physics : to force (something) to move away or apart


Full Definition of REPEL

transitive verb
a :  to drive back :  repulse
b :  to fight against :  resist
:  turn away, reject <repelled the insinuation>
a :  to drive away :  discourage <foul words and frowns must not repel a lover — Shakespeare>
b :  to be incapable of adhering to, mixing with, taking up, or holding
c :  to force away or apart or tend to do so by mutual action at a distance
:  to cause aversion in :  disgust
intransitive verb
:  to cause aversion
re·pel·ler noun

Examples of REPEL

  1. a fabric that repels water
  2. Their superior forces repelled the invasion.
  3. Two positive electrical charges repel each other.
  4. Magnets can both repel and attract one another.

Origin of REPEL

Middle English repellen, from Middle French repeller, from Latin repellere, from re- + pellere to drive — more at felt
First Known Use: 15th century
REPELLER Defined for Kids


verb re·pel \ri-ˈpel\

Definition of REPEL for Kids

:  to drive back <We tried to repel the enemy.>
:  to push away <Two magnets can repel each other.>
:  to keep out :  resist <The cloth is treated to repel water.>
:  2disgust <The sight repelled everyone.>

Word Root of REPEL

The Latin word pellere, meaning to cause to move or to drive, gives us the root pel. Words from the Latin pellere have something to do with driving or causing something to move. To propel is to drive forward. To compel is to drive someone to do something. To expel is to drive out. To repel is to drive back or away.


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