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 expel (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 Last year, the administration added Title 42, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order that allows border officials to immediately expel migrants to Mexico or their home countries because of the pandemic. al, "Honduran teen who lost arm, leg in train accident struggles to reunite with mother in Alabama," 29 Apr. 2021 Advocates have in part blamed a Trump-era policy put in place during the pandemic that allows border officials to swiftly expel migrants encountered at the border for pushing migrants to smugglers. Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, "Biden administration announces new operation to crack down on human smuggling," 27 Apr. 2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, though, shut down the effort to expel Greene from Congress, instead stopping at Democrats removing Greene from her committee assignments after the Republican conference refused to do so alone. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, "Marjorie Taylor Greene proposes expelling Maxine Waters, adopting Democratic tactic used on her," 19 Apr. 2021 Last year, the administration added Title 42, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order that allows border officials to immediately expel migrants to Mexico or their home countries because of the pandemic. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Honduran teen wants to reunite with his mother in U.S. But the border remains closed to him," 18 Apr. 2021 In March, 103,900 people were expelled by CBP under Title 42, which allows Customs and Border Protection to expel undocumented migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in holding facilities. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Migrant encounters up 71% in March as Biden administration grapples with border," 8 Apr. 2021 Title 42, a pandemic-era rule which allows the administration to expel migrants without due process for public health reasons. NBC News, "Meet the Press - March 21, 2021," 21 Mar. 2021 On Friday, Representative Jimmy Gomez, Democrat of California, introduced a resolution to expel Ms. Greene from Congress, arguing that her past social media posts, including advocating Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s execution, disqualified her from serving. New York Times, "With Disruption and Trolling, Greene Reflects G.O.P.’s Shift," 19 Mar. 2021 Most notably, the administration has left in place the Trump-era CDC Title 42 order, which allows border officials to summarily expel almost anyone detained at the border without documentation, ostensibly as a pandemic-response measure. Felipe De La Hoz, The New Republic, "The Infernal Challenge of Ending “Kids In Cages”," 15 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for expel

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for expel

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expel. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expel

Nglish: Translation of expel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expel for Arabic Speakers

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