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 The Persian military had been rebuffed, not permanently expelled. National Geographic, "At the Battle of Marathon, Athens' underdog victory stunned Persia," 6 Feb. 2020 Iraq’s parliament voted in favor of expelling U.S. troops, prompting the U.S. to threaten sanctions if forced to leave. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "U.S. Plans to Renew Sanctions Waiver on Iraq’s Imports of Iranian Power," 6 Feb. 2020 Even after his spirit was expelled, Nick was convinced that not all of him was gone. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, "Things Could Get Better In CAOS Part 4, Nick Stans," 24 Jan. 2020 And nothing stops expelled and suspended athletes from transferring and playing elsewhere. Kenny Jacoby, USA Today, "College athletes more likely to be disciplined for sex assault," 12 Dec. 2019 Had the Republicans prevailed, they would’ve expelled County Commissioner David Woodward, D-Royal Oak, chair of the county board of commissioners, ending the Democrats’ slim 11-10 majority. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Republicans in Oakland County lose legal battle to unseat new executive," 4 Dec. 2019 Her 9-year-old twins and her high-school senior are also on the verge of being expelled from their public schools. Sharon Otterman, New York Times, "Get Vaccinated or Leave School: 26,000 N.Y. Children Face a Choice," 3 Sep. 2019 Revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his family were expelled from the Soviet Union. Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Today in History, January 31, 1958: U.S. entered Space Age with launch of Explorer I in orbit," 31 Jan. 2020 Last fall, two Chinese diplomats living in the United States—one of whom authorities believe was in fact an undercover intelligence officer—were expelled from the country after attempting to get onto a secure Virginia military base. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "A Chinese national’s sloppy cover story exposed smuggling of sensitive US microchips," 31 Jan. 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

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Expel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expellable. Accessed 21 Feb. 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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