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 Exploding stars could, according to their results, have expelled bursts of dust particles that rocketed across the Milky Way, eventually burying themselves in lunar rocks. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "Ancient supernovas may have pierced moon rocks with star shrapnel," 30 Apr. 2020 Their location close to the land border crossing allows agents to expel migrants in as little as two hours, the agency has previously touted. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "U.S. border agency reports first COVID-19 case among migrants in its custody," 27 Apr. 2020 Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are turned away, and anyone caught trying to enter the United States is being expelled immediately. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Trump denounced as ‘xenophobe in chief’ after vowing to freeze immigration in response to COVID-19 pandemic," 21 Apr. 2020 This gives patients oxygen and removes carbon dioxide, which can damage the patient's organs if not expelled. USA Today, "How ventilators work and why COVID-19 patients need them to survive coronavirus," 10 Apr. 2020 That said, thin pieces of fabric such as bandanas do little to protect the person wearing them from inhaling microscopic particles that other people might have expelled into the air. oregonlive, "Ultimate coronavirus mask?: Use HEPA vacuum bags, blue shop towels or T-shirts," 7 Apr. 2020 Last week, the Chinese government announced that Americans from three U.S. news organizations, The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, would be expelled from China. NBC News, "U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before coronavirus outbreak," 22 Mar. 2020 As a dead person's body can still expel air from the lungs or fluids from the mouth or eyes during handling, proper covering of those orifices is important. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Funeral directors navigate preparing for dead, and remembering them, amid COVID-19," 19 Mar. 2020 McFadden, Dixon and Peterson were three of those nine students expelled — the majority were from out-of-state. al, "Remembering the Alabama State sit-in 60 years later," 21 Feb. 2020

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

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Expel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expel. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for expel


How to pronounce expel (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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