dis·​pel | \ di-ˈspel How to pronounce dispel (audio) \
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 decision dispels the myth that grooming and uniform accommodations could cause harm or impede the military's ability to achieve its mission, the ACLU said. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Sikh airman becomes first allowed to wear beard and turban in Air Force," 7 June 2019 What follows are the most pervasive myths swirling around in people’s minds and on their social media feeds, as well as the numbers that dispel the myths. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "The Biggest Gun Violence Myths Debunked," 28 May 2019 The Canadian government also aims to send officials to Nigerian churches in the U.S. to dispel myths of easy entry to Canada. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "New Migrant Surge Tests Canada’s Welcoming Stance," 15 May 2018 The experts dispelled the myth that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "What Happens When a Group of Strangers Spends a Day Debating Immigration?," 23 July 2019 The historical facts, including the demonstrable tyranny of the Protestant Parliament over Catholic and nonconformist minorities, quickly dispel the Catholic-tyranny myth. Declan Leary, National Review, "Conservatives Should Not Celebrate Religious Tyranny and Coercion," 19 July 2019 If there were any questions over Zidane's readiness to take his final game as an international by the scruff of its neck, then the pre-game team photo dispelled them. SI.com, "Anatomy of a Headbutt: OTD in 2006 Zinedine Zidane Was Sent Off in the World Cup Final," 9 July 2019 Harry and Kate dispelled any rumors of a feud with their joint attendance and shared some seriously sweet moments at the service. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry and Kate Middleton Had the Sweetest Moment on Anzac Day and We All Missed It," 26 Apr. 2019 The thesis is to dispel myths about sobriety, as well as serve as a handbook for someone who wants to change their relationship with alcohol. Cory Stieg, refinery29.com, "The Problem With Calling Sobriety A "Wellness Trend"," 5 July 2019

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

13 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce dispel (audio) \
dispelled; dispelling

Kids Definition of dispel

: to make go away dispel doubts

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More from Merriam-Webster on dispel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dispel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dispel

Spanish Central: Translation of dispel

Nglish: Translation of dispel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dispel for Arabic Speakers

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).


not constant or steady

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