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

Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese star, took swigs from his bottle and expelled the drink in dots and dashes in a kind of aquatic Morse code. New York Times, "That Spitting Thing at the World Cup? It’s Probably ‘Carb Rinsing’," 11 July 2018 Though the man completed his program in December 2017 and walked in his graduation ceremony, the school added a line to his transcript in January saying he had been expelled. Annie Martin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Ex-UCF students who sued over expulsion for sex allegations settle," 11 July 2018 Trump’s travel ban survives; Algeria has expelled more than 13,000 migrants in the desert. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Algeria has stranded 13,000 migrants in the Sahara," 27 June 2018 At Harvard that includes a prominent sculpture of Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., a former dean who led the charge to expel three black students in 1851 when white students protested their admission. Liz Kowalczyk, BostonGlobe.com, "In an about-face, hospital will disperse portraits of past white male luminaries, put the focus on diversity," 14 June 2018 While new Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte backed Trump on Russia, the rest of the G-7 has little interest in rewarding a nation that was expelled in 2014 for annexing Crimea. NBC News, "Trump hits the world stage, Day One: Come late, leave early, offend host, alienate allies," 8 June 2018 His patients included an academic whom the government had expelled in disgrace from the capital, and who had become terminally ill. The Economist, "Taboos make it hard to discuss mortality in China," 7 June 2018 The second was Harvey Weinstein, expelled in October after an emergency meeting of the Academy’s Board of Governors. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The Polanski Problem," 3 May 2018 The term refers to the process in which corals expel the symbiotic algae that live inside their tissues, and which normally share food with the corals. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Floating Sunscreen-Like Film Could Protect the Great Barrier Reef," 27 Mar. 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

3 Oct 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).


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