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
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.
One is that phosphotyrosine doesn’t readily penetrate the cell wall of E. coli, because they both are negatively charged, and so repel each other.
Di Grassi had sprinted to pole earlier in the day, pipping DS Virgin Racing's Jose Maria Lopez by 1,000th of a second, but could do nothing to repel Rosenqvist as the race progressed.
Avoid them if possible, repel them with material containing DEET or similar, and keep moving when walking through areas that could harbor the bug.
Primal Screen, which premieres June 8, explores how individuals are simultaneously attracted to and repelled by what scares them most.
Basil naturally repels mosquitoes, aphids, flies, mites and tomato-eating hornworms.
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.
Did You Know?
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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