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

Their use meant that even if a boy panicked — perhaps because of getting snagged in a narrow passage — and got water inside his mask, the pressure would expel it. Stephen Wright, Fox News, "AP Interview: US rescuer details high-risk Thai cave mission," 11 July 2018 In June 1961, the Congolese authorities accused him subversive activities and expelled him from the country. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Frank C. Carlucci, Diplomat and Defense Secretary to Reagan, Dies at 87," 4 June 2018 Party leaders tried but failed to kick her out of the party and expel her from parliament. Naila Inayat, USA TODAY, "Pakistan confronts its Me Too movement — and backlash," 20 May 2018 But Lemons found trouble off the field his senior season and Clearwater expelled him in late October 2016, ending his senior season after two games. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Big-play UF sophomore Adarius Lemons looks to become a complete tailback for Gators," 5 Apr. 2018 In that race, Crowley supported Assemblyman Francisco Moya, who went on to defeat Hiram Monserrate, a former council member and state senator who was expelled from the legislature after a 2009 conviction for assaulting his girlfriend. Danielle Tcholakian, Longreads, "An Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reading List," 10 July 2018 Nothing in the Arizona Constitution prohibits people who are expelled from public office from seeking office. Dustin Gardiner, azcentral, "Don Shooter can stay on ballot despite residency concerns, judge says," 15 June 2018 Today, just three of the nine students who were expelled from Alabama State College in 1960 are alive: James McFadden, St. John Dixon and Joseph Peterson. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "58 Years Later, Alabama Clears the Records of 29 Black Students Who Protested Segregation," 5 June 2018 One dance, featuring dancers with menacing white-mesh masks, dramatized the historical struggles of the Garifuna, who were repeatedly expelled from their native land by European colonizers. Anne Gisleson, Curbed, "Bywater faces its future," 23 May 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

19 Sep 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

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


characteristic trappings or dress

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