repellent

adjective
re·​pel·​lent | \ ri-ˈpe-lənt How to pronounce repellent (audio) \
variants: or less commonly repellant

Definition of repellent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : serving or tending to drive away or ward off often used in combinationa mosquito-repellent spray
2 : arousing aversion or disgust : repulsive

repellent

noun
variants: or less commonly repellant

Definition of repellent (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that repels especially : a substance that repels insects

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Other Words from repellent

Adjective

repellently adverb

Examples of repellent in a Sentence

Adjective The candle has a repellent effect on insects. your snobbish behavior towards my friends is so repellent I can't stand to be around you anymore Noun a can of insect repellent Coat the exterior with a water repellent.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Mr Corbyn has devoted his life to supporting obscure and often repellent causes. The Economist, "British politics goes into the upside down," 5 Sep. 2019 Bea and Alex are the children of two repellent parents: a fabulously wealthy real estate developer and a shockingly narcissistic woman. Ron Charles Critic, Washington Post, "In Sadie Jones’s “The Snakes,” parents are more venomous than reptiles," 2 July 2019 Suddenly, every slur, insult, and caricature seems like a golden opportunity to commodify and profit from the most repellent sound bites. Sonia K. Katyal, BostonGlobe.com, "The sudden rush of vulgar trademarks," 23 June 2018 Meanwhile, national Republicans have been coping with a Hobbesian choice between losing a Senate seat or tainting themselves by association with a bizarre and repellent Old South character right out of Flannery O’Connor. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Alabama Preview: Turnout Will Win It For Moore or Jones, But Republicans Will Have a Headache Either Way," 11 Dec. 2017 But the tactic became far more effective — indeed, electorally triumphant — when the actions being profiled were so genuinely repellent to much of the country. Berny Belvedere, National Review, "Yes, the Democratic Party’s Polarization Helps Explain Trump’s Rise," 11 Oct. 2017 Nevertheless, the types who surfaced in Charlottesville on Saturday are certainly human beings of the most repellent and disgusting sort, murderous too—pretty much violent, evil sociopaths. WSJ, "Notable & Quotable: The White Supremacist Fringe," 13 Aug. 2017 The history of politically inexperienced, personally repellent third-rate television personalities with anger issues who managed to parlay their fame into high office does not begin with Donald Trump. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Al Franken, Un-Funny Man of the Senate," 7 Aug. 2017 But this documentary posits a revision of food history, chronicling the life of the magnetic, repellent man who changed American dining, then disappeared. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "9 movies open May 5; our reviewers weigh in," 5 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Deet is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Two first cases of human West Nile Virus in Weld County confirmed this season," 30 Aug. 2019 County officials are warning hikers to protect themselves from tick bites: ◆ Wear insect repellent. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Hikers cautioned after Sorrento Valley ticks test positive for ‘rabbit fever’," 30 Aug. 2019 Those who own horses should keep the animals in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes, avoid turning on lights inside barns, and speak with their veterinarian about mosquito repellents, state officials said. Jaclyn Reiss, BostonGlobe.com, "What you need to know about EEE in Mass.," 29 Aug. 2019 Insect repellents are divided into two primary chemical classes: natural and synthetic. Washington Post, "Some common garden plants might help keep bugs away," 6 Aug. 2019 Officials are advising Massachusetts residents to use mosquito repellent. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "New EEE case confirmed in horse from Douglas," 3 Sep. 2019 Residents whose work or play exposes them to mosquito-prone areas can use over-the-counter insect repellents. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, "In San Diego, new mosquito breeds take a bite out of summer," 3 Sep. 2019 Residents whose work or play exposes them to mosquito-prone areas can use over-the-counter insect repellents. Peter Rowe, Los Angeles Times, "Newly arrived mosquito breeds take a bite out of summer in San Diego," 3 Sep. 2019 Based on Martone’s own recent staging of the play, The Mayor of Rione Sanita is a challenging work whose verbal violence is engrossing but also repellent. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Mayor of Rione Sanita' ('Il sindaco di Rione Sanita'): Film Review | Venice 2019," 30 Aug. 2019

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

Adjective

1575, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1583, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for repellent

Adjective

Latin repellent-, repellens, present participle of repellere

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Statistics for repellent

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for repellent

The first known use of repellent was in 1575

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More Definitions for repellent

repellent

adjective
How to pronounce repellent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of repellent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: keeping something out or away
formal : causing someone to feel disgust

repellent

noun

English Language Learners Definition of repellent (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that is used to keep something out or away

repellent

noun
re·​pel·​lent | \ ri-ˈpe-lənt How to pronounce repellent (audio) \

Kids Definition of repellent

: a substance used to keep off pests (as insects)

repellent

adjective
re·​pel·​lent
variants: also repellant \ ri-​ˈpel-​ənt How to pronounce repellant (audio) \

Medical Definition of repellent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: serving or tending to drive away or ward off often used in combination a mosquito-repellent spray

repellent

noun
variants: also repellant

Medical Definition of repellent (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that repels especially : a substance used to prevent insect attacks

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repellent

noun
re·​pel·​lent | \ ri-ˈpe-lənt\

Legal Definition of repellent

: a method used to avoid or discourage a hostile corporate takeover

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Comments on repellent

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