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 Navy prosecuted Gallagher and wanted to expel him from the SEALs, but the president, as commander in chief, has repeatedly intervened in the sailor’s favor. BostonGlobe.com, "Who is Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher?," 25 Nov. 2019 While President Trump recently ordered the Navy to promote a SEAL who posed with an ISIS fighter's corpse, the Navy is discussing expelling him from the SEAL corps. NBC News, "Get ready for a huge day in American politics," 20 Nov. 2019 In his lawsuit, Mumphery alleged that the university failed to give him proper notice of an appeal and new investigation prior to expelling him from the graduate program and banning him from campus until 2019. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Ex-Texans receiver Keith Mumphery works out for Browns," 18 Sep. 2019 Surely expelling him violates the Geneva Conventions or something. Los Angeles Times, "Column: The Boris Brexit meltdown is the best show on TV," 4 Sep. 2019 The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, a legal watchdog, has criticised the system, and in May the government put it on hold to keep its membership in the powerful EPP group of the European Parliament, which had threatened to expel it. The Economist, "How Viktor Orban hollowed out Hungary’s democracy," 29 Aug. 2019 Like, maybe your body's burning some extra calories in expelling those farts? Claire Gillespie, Health.com, "Let's Settle This: Does Farting Burn Calories?," 6 Nov. 2019 After expelling Islamic State militants from southeastern Syria in 2018, the Kurds seized control of the more profitable oil fields to the south in Deir el-Zour province. Washington Post, "Not over yet: New US Syria mission after al-Baghdadi’s death," 29 Oct. 2019 His chance came in 1516, when the emir of Algiers requested his help in expelling Spanish soldiers from the neighboring Peñón of Algiers, a small island fortress. National Geographic, "This 16th-century corsair was the most feared pirate of the Mediterranean," 8 Oct. 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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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

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Expel.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expellable?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=e&file=expel002. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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

Comments on expel

What made you want to look up expel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to constrict the range or activity of

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