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
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Recent Examples on the Web

So Darwinists would say, our repulsion to them is actually a pretty useful adaptation. National Geographic, "Episode 3: Rats and humans—a love story," 25 June 2019 While these two are caught up in attraction-repulsion, the story’s villains are busy trying to commandeer Antoinette’s inheritance. Daryl H. Miller,, "A fun ‘Bronco Billy’ roams the Wild West to a disco beat," 11 June 2019 But before long, her infatuation segues into repulsion. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Female Friendships Are the Best, Until They Aren't," 20 June 2019 These rules include attraction, whereby the fish move closer to their neighbors, and repulsion, whereby the fish increase their distance from their neighbors. Lucas Joel, New York Times, "A School of Fish, Captured in a Fossil," 29 May 2019 The new work, done by a collaboration between scientists at the University of California, Berkeley and Hong Kong University, involved figuring out how to do both attraction and repulsion at the same time. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers balance Casimir effects, make tiny hoverboard," 6 June 2019 There does seem to be a special, visceral repulsion among some voters toward the president. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The suburbs abandoned Republicans in 2018, and they might not be coming back.," 26 Dec. 2018 That overlap brings the proton waves close enough so that another force — the strong nuclear force, which kicks in only at extremely small distances — can overcome the particles’ electrical repulsion. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Future research can examine universes with different strengths of the strong nuclear force, the strongest known force between particles, which binds protons together in atomic nuclei, despite their mutual repulsion, Howe said. Charles Q. Choi,, "Why Alternate Universes Might Also Host Life Around their Stars," 26 Sep. 2018

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

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Statistics for repulsion

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for repulsion

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

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More Definitions for repulsion



English Language Learners Definition of repulsion

: a feeling of strong dislike or disgust
physics : a force that pushes something away from something else
: the act of pushing someone or something away : the act of repulsing something or someone


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on repulsion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with repulsion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for repulsion

Britannica English: Translation of repulsion for Arabic Speakers

Comments on repulsion

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something desired as essential

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