re·​pul·​sion | \ ri-ˈpəl-shən How to pronounce repulsion (audio) \

Definition of repulsion

1 : the action of repulsing : the state of being repulsed
2 : the action of repelling : the force with which bodies, particles, or like forces repel one another
3 : a feeling of aversion : repugnance

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Examples of repulsion in a Sentence

I read about what happened with a feeling of shock and repulsion. She felt a repulsion for politics. a repulsion between the particles their successful repulsion of the attack
Recent Examples on the Web My repulsion towards my scars didn't stem from any sadness that my arm was gone. Allure, 19 Apr. 2022 Murphy’s live-in-concert repulsion fantasias belie a tenderness that resides at the core of some of his work. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 Engineers and molecular geneticists built a web server that can analyze noncoding RNA’s raw CLASH data, and scientists described the cognitive repulsion mechanism that causes people to get lost in supermarkets. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Mar. 2022 Under the intensive, focused gaze of the film’s long shots, Thompson and Negga deliver performances dense with desire and repulsion. New York Times, 20 Oct. 2021 But now the pull is coupled with a powerful push — in other words, repulsion — that keeps us from being seduced. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 21 Sep. 2021 The film also explores the attraction-repulsion relationship between a victim and her perpetrator. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 4 Sep. 2021 That’s why a proposal, the first in decades, to dig a new coal mine in Whitehaven, a faded harbor town in northwest England, has excited so much interest — enthusiasm from some, repulsion from others. New York Times, 26 Aug. 2021 That stark push-pull, a simultaneous attraction and repulsion, is fundamental to his aesthetic. Los Angeles Times, 9 July 2021 See More

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for repulsion

Middle English repulsioun, borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French repulcion, repulsion, borrowed from Medieval Latin repulsiōn, repulsiō "action of driving away or expelling" (Late Latin, "refutation"), derivative, with the suffix of verbal action -tiōn-, -tiō, of Latin repellere "to push away, drive back, fend off " (with -s- from past participle and verbal noun repulsus) — more at repel

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Time Traveler for repulsion

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near repulsion



repulsion-induction motor

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Statistics for repulsion

Last Updated

30 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Repulsion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for repulsion


re·​pul·​sion | \ ri-ˈpəl-shən How to pronounce repulsion (audio) \

Medical Definition of repulsion

: the tendency of some linked genetic characters to be inherited separately because a dominant allele for each character occurs on the same chromosome as a recessive allele of the other — compare coupling sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on repulsion

Britannica English: Translation of repulsion for Arabic Speakers


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