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
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.
Part of the reason is the magnetic power of Trump, who has attracted Republicans and repelled Democrats with such force that the parties often seem to be defined solely in relation to him, for or against.
With no attention to formatting, the aesthetic was sure to repel readership.
Part of what this means is that the idea of a ruling class repels us.
After all, severe autism repels language, turns it chaotic or, in the case of autistic mutism, simply absorbs it wholesale, as a black hole does light.
The attack repelled an advance that delayed the Japanese for months, and within weeks the soldier, 23-year-old First Lt.
All that's going on here is that the various atoms in the molecule and those in the surrounding water molecules are attracting and repelling one another, according to the laws of physics.
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").
Origin and Etymology of repel
Middle English repellen, from Middle French repeller, from Latin repellere, from re- + pellere to drive — more at felt
First Known Use: 15th century
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.
Seen and Heard
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