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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rappel

rappel noun

Examples of rappel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fire crews arrived and used harnesses to rappel down the face of the sheer cliff and reach the man. Fox News, "Utah hiker survives 100-foot fall onto cliff ledge, stranded for 5 hours before rescue," 30 Dec. 2020 The steel girder that holds up the living-room ceiling is also a climbing pole, with a harness so guests can rappel down. Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker, "The Art of Building the Impossible," 23 Nov. 2020 On Friday, the 28-year-old will rappel down a 357-foot tall building in Columbus. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, "Free movies at Walmart, why you'll hear gunshots, Zoo babies, tax hike nixed - Thursday updates," 6 Aug. 2020 On Friday, Schneider will rappel down a 357-foot tall building in Columbus. Keith Bierygolick, The Enquirer, "A tenacious athlete broke her neck falling 3 feet. She will now rappel off a 357-foot-tall building, in her wheelchair," 6 Aug. 2020 Hocking State Forest is also opening several recreational features, including the horse camp, Airplane Rock, and the bridle trails north of the Unger Road rappelling area on June 15. Steve Stephens, The Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati.com, "Two Hocking Hills State Park trails to reopen mid-June," 26 May 2020 Friends and family posted on social media that Dorsett was an experienced climber and canyoneer, an extreme form of hiking that involves exploring canyons by rappelling, swimming and more. James Carr, azcentral, "GoFundMe for man who died in flash flood in Bull Canyon has raised over $13,000 for family," 27 Feb. 2020 Lady Gaga literally rappelled into her show, after doing a medley of America songs. oregonlive, "25 Super Bowl halftime shows ranked from truly terrible to totally transcendent for 2020," 22 Jan. 2020 Instead of rappelling down a ravine, an Army captain pulled a dead soldier out of a burning Humvee. Author: Matt Viser, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "As he campaigns for president, Joe Biden tells a moving but false war story," 29 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rappel

Statistics for rappel

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rappel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rappel. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rappel



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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!