re·​pug·​nant | \ ri-ˈpəg-nənt How to pronounce repugnant (audio) \

Definition of repugnant

2 archaic : hostile
3 : exciting distaste or aversion repugnant language a morally repugnant practice

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Other Words from repugnant

repugnantly adverb

Examples of repugnant in a Sentence

technically speaking, it may not be a violation, but it is certainly repugnant to the spirit of the law
Recent Examples on the Web In so doing, the Chinese Communist authorities suppressed speech, policed and purged dissenting views and suffocated any notion of individual freedom or mobility — actions that are repugnant and unacceptable in any democratic society. New York Times, "Power, Patriotism and 1.4 Billion People: How China Beat the Virus and Roared Back," 5 Feb. 2021 That was my conclusion after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville over three years ago, discussing whether companies are within their rights to fire employees who engage in technically legal but morally repugnant activities off the clock. Washington Post, "Employers are taking a hard line against workers who support pro-Trump mob attack on U.S. Capitol," 14 Jan. 2021 To avoid groups, Bryant pre-screened prospective jurors by mailing them questionnaires that inquired about their eligibility for jury duty in the context of both the repugnant nature of the case and fear of viral infection. Edmund H. Mahony,, "Fear of COVID-19 infection among prospective jurors upends efforts to begin the state’s first, post-pandemic trial," 23 Nov. 2020 While the motives of the whistleblowers are sometimes repugnant, that should hardly matter if their evidence is good, i.e., independently corroborated—and provision of such evidence is the only way to qualify for the bounties. Jed S. Rakoff, The New York Review of Books, "Getting Away With Murder," 17 Nov. 2020 Does that repugnant notion deserve its full day in court, where somber judges weigh both sides? Star Tribune, "Readers Write: COVID at the Legislature, virus deaths, the election, the promise of America," 16 Nov. 2020 Slavery was both morally repugnant and economically exploitative. Washington Post, "How systemic racism affects financial choices: Readers respond to ‘Sincerely, Michelle’ series," 13 Nov. 2020 The Science paper addresses the rise of political sectarianism—the growing tendency of one political group to view its opponents as morally repugnant. Christie Aschwanden, Scientific American, "Why Hatred and 'Othering' of Political Foes Has Spiked to Extreme Levels," 29 Oct. 2020 But the proliferation of rotten movies like Antebellum tells us this repugnant self-righteous pop movement isn’t over yet. Armond White, National Review, "Antebellum, a Race-Hustling Halloween Party," 7 Oct. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for repugnant

Middle English, opposed, contradictory, incompatible, from Anglo-French, from Latin repugnant-, repugnans, present participle of repugnare to fight against, from re- + pugnare to fight — more at pungent

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Time Traveler for repugnant

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The first known use of repugnant was in the 15th century

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Statistics for repugnant

Last Updated

14 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Repugnant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for repugnant



English Language Learners Definition of repugnant

formal : causing a strong feeling of dislike or disgust


re·​pug·​nant | \ ri-ˈpəg-nənt \

Kids Definition of repugnant

: causing a strong feeling of dislike or distrust


re·​pug·​nant | \ ri-ˈpəg-nənt How to pronounce repugnant (audio) \

Legal Definition of repugnant

: characterized by contradiction and irreconcilability the arbitrator's decision was not repugnant to the Act— M. A. Kelly

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