Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

repel

play
verb re·pel \ri-ˈpel\

Simple Definition of repel

  • : 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

re·pelledre·pel·ling

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to drive back :  repulse b :  to fight against :  resist

  3. 2 :  turn away, reject <repelled the insinuation>

  4. 3 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

  5. 4 :  to cause aversion in :  disgust

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up repel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet pince-nez spindrift kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ