re·pul·sion | \ri-ˈpəl-shən \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Throughout his work, seduction consorts with repulsion, innocence with threat. Leah Ollman,, "The disturbing meets the sweet in Alex Anderson's new sculptures at Gavlak," 4 July 2018 With flashing eyes that tear up at the drop of a cat and a muscular frame made for monument-worthy poses, this Padraic is a strutting contradiction of attraction and repulsion, daring us to question our conventional notions of the heroic. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Orlando Bloom and Aidan Turner Are Drenched in Blood in London," 4 July 2018 For McQueen, that repulsion manifested in creative endeavours that shocked the fashion world. Meagan Fredette,, "Alexander McQueen Documentary Showcases The Rise Of His Tragic Genius," 3 June 2018 Female lust, comprising all these repulsions, isn’t some blunt, unidirectional force. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Young womanhood sopping wet with bodily fluids in Shotgun’s ‘Dry Land’," 31 May 2018 That, in a nutshell, is both the attraction and the repulsion of the impostor. Sadie Stein, Town & Country, "Why Are Rich People So Easily Fooled?," 26 Feb. 2017 This operative is thinking about historically Republican districts — the Texas suburbs, conservative enclaves in the Californian suburbs — where the repulsion for Trump should give Democrats an opportunity. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Everybody says Democrats will win the House. What could go wrong?," 12 Apr. 2018 My immediate reaction was repulsion, followed by a kind of morbid curiosity. Kim Brooks, The Cut, "What Happens When a Married Woman Goes on Tinder?," 22 Feb. 2018 The use of King's sermon to sell trucks did not sit well with many viewers, who voiced reactions ranging from uneasiness to repulsion. Josh Hafner, USA TODAY, "People are hating the Ram Super Bowl ad using MLK's speech. This is why.," 4 Feb. 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.

See More

First Known Use of repulsion

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about repulsion

Statistics for repulsion

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for repulsion

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on repulsion

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!