ex·​pel | \ ik-ˈspel How to pronounce expel (audio) \
expelled; expelling

Definition of expel

transitive verb

1 : to force out : eject expelled the smoke from her lungs
2 : to force to leave (a place, an organization, etc.) by official action : take away rights or privileges of membership was expelled from college

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Other Words from expel

expellable \ ik-​ˈspe-​lə-​bəl How to pronounce expellable (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for expel

eject, expel, oust, evict mean to drive or force out. eject carries an especially strong implication of throwing or thrusting out from within as a physical action. ejected an obnoxious patron from the bar expel stresses a thrusting out or driving away especially permanently which need not be physical. a student expelled from college oust implies removal or dispossession by power of the law or by force or compulsion. police ousted the squatters evict chiefly applies to turning out of house and home. evicted for nonpayment of rent

Did You Know?

To expel is to drive out, and its usual noun is expulsion. Expel is similar to eject, but expel suggests pushing out while eject suggests throwing out. Also, ejecting may only be temporary: the player ejected from a game may be back tomorrow, but the student expelled from school is probably out forever.

Examples of expel in a Sentence

The club may expel members who do not follow the rules. She was expelled from school for bad behavior. expel air from the lungs
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Recent Examples on the Web

Scattered about the set, large electric fans expel ribbons of cool air but ultimately provide little relief from the jungly May heat that has crept into the studio. Jason Parham, WIRED, "How Oprah’s Network Finally Found Its Voice," 19 June 2018 According to the Archdiocese, Sun has been expelled from the school. CBS News, "Police: Exchange student accused of shooting plot had over 1,600 rounds of ammunition," 3 Apr. 2018 Pengilly was expelled from the games last week after a run-in with a security guard. Stephen Wade, Houston Chronicle, "IOC leaves decision on Russians at Olympics until Sunday," 24 Feb. 2018 The reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, were arrested in December 2017 after investigating atrocities committed by the Myanmar military in its campaign to expel the Rohingya Muslim minority. Jon Emont, WSJ, "Myanmar to Free Thousands of Prisoners—But Not the Reuters Reporters," 17 Apr. 2019 According to the Cleveland Clinic, burping is the more common way to expel gas from the body. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Does Lying Down After Eating Really Cause Gas?," 28 Mar. 2019 The tiny poppers fireworks, which make noise when thrown against a hard surface, are considered explosive compounds by the school’s hearing officer, who decided to expel the child, Channel 2 reported. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "10-year-old permanently expelled for bringing ‘poppers’ to Henry County school," 31 May 2018 Kim Hyok Chol, who was expelled from Spain in September 2017 following Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test and its missile launches over neighboring Japan, has become North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator with the U.S. Aritz Parra, The Seattle Times, "Spain: FBI offered data stolen in North Korean Embassy raid," 27 Mar. 2019 But sometimes something triggers your nose intensely enough that your body wants to expel it forcefully and immediately, so this ordinary cleansing process gets an instant boost in the form of a sneeze. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Quick Question: Why Do We Sneeze?," 8 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expel.' 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 expel

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for expel

Middle English expellen, from Latin expellere, from ex- + pellere to drive — more at felt

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Statistics for expel

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expel

The first known use of expel was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for expel



English Language Learners Definition of expel

: to officially force (someone) to leave a place or organization
: to push or force (something) out


ex·​pel | \ ik-ˈspel How to pronounce expel (audio) \
expelled; expelling

Kids Definition of expel

1 : to force to leave He was expelled from school.
2 : to force out expel air from lungs

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More from Merriam-Webster on expel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with expel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expel

Spanish Central: Translation of expel

Nglish: Translation of expel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expel for Arabic Speakers

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