ex·pel | \ik-ˈspel \
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 \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for expel


blow (out), breathe (out), exhale, expire


inbreathe, inhale, inspire

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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

In 2006, a French team once again led by Zidane and Thuram made it to the World Cup final, then lost after Zidane head-butted an Italian player and was expelled from the game. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "France’s Ghosts Return for the World Cup," 14 July 2018 Five players were given red cards and were expelled from the match. Nihal Kolur, SI.com, "Watch: Unbelievable Fight Breaks Out During Brazilian Serie D Game," 9 July 2018 Venezuela countered by expelling the top two U.S. diplomats from the American embassy, the New York Times reported. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "American Held in Venezuela Reveals Prison Conditions: Cockroaches Were 'Crawling All Over Me'," 5 June 2018 The list includes 22 European countries including Britain itself which led the way by expelling 23 diplomats. Mike Ward, Houston Chronicle, "Russian bots fueled Jade Helm fears in Texas, says former CIA chief Michael Hayden," 3 May 2018 Russia vehemently denies any involvement and has responded by expelling the same number of diplomats. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Russian scientist who developed nerve agent Novichok says he was hit by a car," 25 Apr. 2018 Moscow responded by expelling dozens of western diplomats and even accused the UK of staging the poisoning. Tim Lister, CNN, "Syria strikes: The real impact is in Moscow," 14 Apr. 2018 Russia in turn retaliated by expelling diplomats from a number of countries that have sided with Britain. Time, "The Poisoned Daughter of a Russian Ex-Spy Has Been Released From Hospital, British Media Says," 10 Apr. 2018 Russia in turn retaliated by expelling diplomats from countries that sided with Britain. Gregory Katz, chicagotribune.com, "Ex-spy's daughter released from British hospital," 10 Apr. 2018

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

17 Oct 2018

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 \
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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Comments on expel

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