verb re·pugn \ri-ˈpyün\

Definition of repugn


  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to offer opposition, objection, or resistance

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to contend against :  oppose

repugn was our Word of the Day on 09/02/2014. Hear the podcast!

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!

Origin and Etymology of repugn

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

First Known Use: 14th century

Learn More about repugn

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up repugn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to criticize severely

Get Word of the Day daily email!