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

But to breathe, most pull oxygen-containing water into their mouths and pump it through their gill chambers before expelling it out of their gill slits. Alex Fox, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: The science of false confessions, transforming blood types, and Brazil’s war on drugs," 14 June 2019 The elevator expelled them into the lobby, the nodding doorman held the heavy oak and brass door open, and the city night gathered them both into its cool embrace. Adam O’fallon Price, Harper's magazine, "The Maid’s Story," 10 June 2019 The 1-foot cubes, with bumpers on the corners, have electric motors that suck in air and expel it through directional nozzles with enough force to propel them in microgravity. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Planned trips to moon could usher in space-based commerce," 8 June 2019 Weeks after the massacre, police accused Cherizier of being away without leave and expelled him from the force. Fox News, "Leader or killer? A day with 'Barbecue' in Haiti's capital," 7 June 2019 Larvaceans also transport plastic particles around the deep waters by expelling them in fecal pellets that sink rapidly, carrying the plastic bits with them. National Geographic, "Tiny plastic pieces are spread throughout the deep sea," 6 June 2019 The movie follows Big Bird and the rest of the Sesame Street gang after they are expelled from their neighborhood and set out to prove that Sesame Street actually exists. Madeleine Fernando, Billboard, "Comedian Bo Burnham to Write Songs for Upcoming 'Sesame Street' Movie," 11 June 2019 The film is to follow the Sesame Street gang as they are mysteriously expelled from their neighborhood of sunny days where the air is sweet. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "Bo Burnham will write songs for upcoming Sesame Street movie," 10 June 2019 In addition to police work, Winters spent about six months in 2012 in the Illinois state legislature, representing the 10th District, after state Rep. Derrick Smith was expelled from the legislature amid federal bribery allegations. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "Harvey hires CPD lieutenant, ex-lawmaker to transform police department," 8 June 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

11 Jul 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

Comments on expel

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