re·​pugn ri-ˈpyün How to pronounce repugn (audio)
repugned; repugning; repugns

intransitive verb

archaic : to offer opposition, objection, or resistance

transitive verb

: to contend against : oppose

Did you know?

Repugn is a word that was relatively common in English in the 16th and 17th centuries. These days, however, English speakers are more likely to be familiar with one of its close relatives, namely, the adjective repugnant, which formerly meant "hostile" but today most commonly means "exciting distaste or aversion." The Latin root for both of these words is pugnare, meaning "to fight." Other English derivatives from this root are pugnacious, meaning "belligerent," and impugn, meaning "to assail with words or arguments." Even pungent is a relative of pugnare. Therefore, don’t try to repugn, or impugn for that matter, the influence of pugnare on our language-lest you appear pugnacious!

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French repugner, from Latin repugnare

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of repugn was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near repugn

Cite this Entry

“Repugn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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