rap·​pel | \ rə-ˈpel How to pronounce rappel (audio) , ra- \
rappelled also rappeled; rappelling also rappeling

Definition of rappel

intransitive verb

: to descend (as from a cliff) by sliding down a rope passed under one thigh, across the body, and over the opposite shoulder or through a special friction device

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Other Words from rappel

rappel noun

Examples of rappel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In addition to opening his heart and home to Mutzbauer, Witt would also support him at many of his toughest sites, such as the Tower of the Americas when Mutzbauer first rappelled off the observation deck more than 10 years ago. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio window washer now high on god, not heroin," 3 Dec. 2019 Firefighters rappelled to the protesters Thursday evening and lowered them to boats below. USA TODAY, "Disney surprise, foreign feral hogs, porous pavement: News from around our 50 states," 13 Sep. 2019 On Monday morning, rescuers landed on the side of the Golden Ray and rappelled down the hull. BostonGlobe.com, "Coast Guard drills into capsized ship to rescue more crew members - The Boston Globe," 10 Sep. 2019 On Monday morning, rescuers landed on the side of the Golden Ray and rappelled down the hull. Jeff Amy And Stephen Morton, chicagotribune.com, "Coast Guard rescuers pull 4 trapped crewman alive from cargo ship that capsized off Georgia coast," 9 Sep. 2019 On Monday morning, rescuers landed on the side of the Golden Ray and rappelled down the hull. Jeff Amy, Anchorage Daily News, "Coast Guard rescues all 4 crew members trapped in overturned cargo ship off Georgia," 9 Sep. 2019 Rescuers used a helicopter to land on the side of the Golden Ray and rappelled down the hull. Time, "Coast Guard Finds 4 Crew Members Trapped Inside Capsized Cargo Ship in Georgia," 9 Sep. 2019 As the car headed down the freeway into the heart of Kowloon, one of the passengers — a protester who had rappelled down before Lucy — appeared to have suffered a head injury. Washington Post, "A rope, tear gas and a fractured foot: How one Hong Kong protester escaped a besieged university," 27 Nov. 2019 The group had camped overnight and started their day off early to rappel down a 227-foot drop into the cave. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "21-Year-Old Purdue University Student Falls 200 Feet to Death in Alabama Cave," 25 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rappel.' 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 rappel

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rappel

French, literally, recall, from Old French rapel, from rapeler to recall, from re- + apeler to appeal, call — more at appeal

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Time Traveler for rappel

Time Traveler

The first known use of rappel was in 1944

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Statistics for rappel

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rappel.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rappel. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for rappel


How to pronounce rappel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rappel

US : to move down a steep cliff, rock, etc., by pushing your feet against its surface and sliding down a rope


rap·​pel | \ rə-ˈpel, ra- \
rappelled; rappelling

Kids Definition of rappel

: to move down a steep slope (as a cliff) by pushing the feet against its surface and sliding down a rope

More from Merriam-Webster on rappel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rappel

Comments on rappel

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


to assert without proof or before proving

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