dis·​pel di-ˈspel How to pronounce dispel (audio)
dispelled; dispelling

transitive verb

: to drive away or cause to vanish by or as if by scattering : dissipate
dispel a rumor
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.
Recent Examples on the Web Now, Alvarez has now come forward in The Brooklyn Eagle dispelling the rumors, and pleading for people to stop harassing him. Jeff Ihaza, Rolling Stone, 13 May 2024 That output should dispel most concerns about Bentley’s decision to electrify its lineup, but for the holdouts there are the Edition 8 variants. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 10 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for dispel 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dispel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near dispel

Cite this Entry

“Dispel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dispel. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​pel dis-ˈpel How to pronounce dispel (audio)
dispelled; dispelling
: to drive away by or as if by scattering : dissipate

More from Merriam-Webster on dispel

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