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

Throughout the show, there’s a push-pull of attraction and repulsion. Steven Litt,, "‘Medieval Monsters’ exhibit at Cleveland Museum of Art surveys images used to inspire fear, hatred and wonder," 1 Sep. 2019 Heating plasma up To trigger the fusion reaction, the electrostatic repulsion between the nuclei needs to be overcome until the strong attractive nuclear force kicks in. Giulia Pacchioni, Scientific American, "The Road to Fusion," 26 Aug. 2019 The requirement that the spheres not overlap translates into an infinitely strong repulsion when their center points are closer together than the diameter of the spheres. Quanta Magazine, "Out of a Magic Math Function, One Solution to Rule Them All," 13 May 2019 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

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

11 Sep 2019

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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

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

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


to make a temporary encampment

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