Definition of repel
3a : to drive away : discourage foul words and frowns must not repel a lover — William Shakespeareb : to be incapable of adhering to, mixing with, taking up, or holdingc : to force away or apart or tend to do so by mutual action at a distance
4 : to cause aversion in : disgust
: to cause aversion
Examples of repel in a Sentence
a fabric that repels water
Their superior forces repelled the invasion.
Two positive electrical charges repel each other.
Magnets can both repel and attract one another.
Recent Examples of repel from the Web
That dignity is sullied by a government that forces its people to serve as unwilling vessels for beliefs that repel them.
Nuclei all have positive electric charges, and since like charges repel each other, this means that the nuclear banging together needs to be pretty forceful.
After repelling numerous and costly attacks by human soldiers led by the Colonel (Harrelson), Caesar heads north on a revenge mission while the rest of his tribe retreats.
France’s nuclear program, larger and more advanced, would be better suited to replace American capabilities, particularly the small, battlefield warheads that would be most useful in repelling a potential Russian invasion.
Our sense of smell is what makes food tasty and repels us from rotting things.
Clothes treated with Permethrin also help repel ticks, said Enot.
Dry root balls repel moisture and the irrigation water runs around the outer edge to never wet the soil inside.
Yahoo’s ineptitude in repelling (or even being aware of) hackers forced it to reduce its sale price to Verizon.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'repel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
When To Use repel
Since re- can mean not just "again" but also "back", repel means "drive back". Repel has two common adjective forms; thus, a repellent or repulsive odor may drive us into the other room. Its main noun form is repulsion. Magnets exhibit both attraction and repulsion, and the goal of an armed defense is the repulsion of an enemy; but we generally use repulsion to mean "strong dislike". In recent years, repulse has been increasingly used as a synonym for repel ("That guy repulses me").
REPEL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of repel for English Language Learners
: to keep (something) out or away
: to force (an enemy, attacker, etc.) to stop an attack and turn away
physics : to force (something) to move away or apart
REPEL Defined for Kids
Word Root of repel
The Latin word pellere, meaning “to cause to move” or “to drive,” gives us the root pel. Words from the Latin pellere have something to do with driving or causing something to move. To propel is to drive forward. To compel is to drive someone to do something. To expel is to drive out. To repel is to drive back or away.
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