dis·​pel | \di-ˈspel \
dispelled; dispelling

Definition of dispel 

transitive verb

: to drive away or cause to vanish by or as if by scattering : dissipate dispel a rumor

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Choose the Right Synonym for dispel

scatter, disperse, dissipate, dispel mean to cause to separate or break up. scatter implies a force that drives parts or units irregularly in many directions. the bowling ball scattered the pins disperse implies a wider separation and a complete breaking up of a mass or group. police dispersed the crowd dissipate stresses complete disintegration or dissolution and final disappearance. the fog was dissipated by the morning sun dispel stresses a driving away or getting rid of as if by scattering. an authoritative statement that dispelled all doubt

Examples of dispel in a Sentence

This report should dispel any doubts you have about the plan. She made an official statement to dispel any rumors about her retirement. The experience dispelled some of our fears about the process.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The hope is that improved relations between Washington and Pyongyang will ease tensions and dispel the threat of war, which has hung over the region for more than a half-century. Jung-yoon Kim, Fox News, "In South Korea, hope and doubt ahead of Trump-Kim summit," 7 June 2018 Both the Hyundai Kona Electric and Jaguar I-Pace have more than double the range of first-generation electric vehicles, dispelling one issue that has held down sales. Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY, "New York Auto Show: Hyundai Kona, Jaguar I-Pace SUVs could change electric-vehicle game," 30 Mar. 2018 The effect is of one of those long New Yorker-style pieces that blend storytelling with feats of reporting—the elaborate set-up that is a feint, to be dispelled in an act of revelation. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Three Identical Men and a Mystery," 5 July 2018 Appearing on a number of Sunday morning news shows, national security adviser John Bolton sought to dispel concerns that the White House is being hoodwinked. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Trump said North Korea was ‘no longer a nuclear threat.’ His spies disagree.," 2 July 2018 One of my biggest body-oil concerns is the texture and stickiness, but Teigen quickly dispels my fears. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Chrissy Teigen Reveals Why She Created a Body Oil for Her New Becca Collection," 28 June 2018 Battista tried to dispel the notion suggested by defense attorneys during opening arguments, that Kelly Norton was fabricating her story as revenge for the divorce. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Witness recounts decision to testify against her ex-husband in bribery case," 6 June 2018 Josh Rosen wants people to get to know the 'real' him while Lamar Jackson tries to dispel rumors that he'd been asked to play wide receiver. Lindsay H. Jones, USA TODAY, "Josh Rosen wants to leave NFL teams with no questions about his commitment," 2 Mar. 2018 However, the 2016 French Open champion quickly dispelled any thoughts of an upset by breaking Broady’s opening service game, and did it again to take the first set, 6-2. Sam Johnston, BostonGlobe.com, "Two-time champ Petra Kvitova out at Wimbledon," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dispel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dispel

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dispel

Middle English, from Latin dispellere, from dis- + pellere to drive, beat — more at felt

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Statistics for dispel

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dispel

The first known use of dispel was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for dispel



English Language Learners Definition of dispel

: to make (something, such as a belief, feeling, or idea) go away or end


dis·​pel | \di-ˈspel \
dispelled; dispelling

Kids Definition of dispel

: to make go away dispel doubts

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Comments on dispel

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


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