repulsive

adjective
re·​pul·​sive | \ ri-ˈpəl-siv How to pronounce repulsive (audio) \

Definition of repulsive

1 : serving or able to repulse repulsive force
2 : tending to repel or reject : cold, forbidding
3 : arousing aversion or disgust repulsive crimes

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from repulsive

repulsively adverb
repulsiveness noun

Examples of repulsive in a Sentence

Magnets have a repulsive effect on each other. a repulsive display of shameless flattery that made the embarrassed actor wrinkle his nose in disgust

Recent Examples on the Web

Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes were repulsive and reprehensible. BostonGlobe.com, "Harvard says it received $9 million from Jeffrey Epstein - The Boston Globe," 13 Sep. 2019 But then, in 1998, astronomers discovered that the expansion of the cosmos is in fact gradually accelerating, implying the presence of a repulsive energy permeating space. Quanta Magazine, "Why the Tiny Weight of Empty Space Is Such a Huge Mystery," 12 Mar. 2018 Parting Shot The cockroach has been around in some form for about 300 million years, as the repulsive insect’s proven to be an extraordinarily resilient species. Jeff Bailey, The Denver Post, "From Colorado wrestling champ to prison inmate, UFC star Ian Heinisch looks to make most of second chance in life," 16 Aug. 2019 Seeing that her gambit has disquieted Cindy (Tanya Gorlow) and Christina (Dominique Corona), the outrageous yet ever-gracious Fefu explains her attraction to repulsive ideas by way of a metaphor. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Under-performed feminist masterpiece ‘Fefu and Her Friends’ is reborn at the Odyssey," 13 Aug. 2019 Viazovska, Cohn and their collaborators restricted their attention to the universe of repulsive forces. Quanta Magazine, "Out of a Magic Math Function, One Solution to Rule Them All," 13 May 2019 And in the future, this will feel as repulsive to future generations as persecution of any other group feels to us now. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Americans Can't Admit Concentration Camps Exist in the U.S. Because They're Shameless," 20 June 2019 SRG’s main scientific goal is cosmological: to create a 3D map of the cosmos that will reveal how the Universe accelerates under the mysterious repulsive force called dark energy. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, "New Space Telescope Will Map the Universe in High-energy X-rays," 17 June 2019 The Casimir interaction between teflon and gold is repulsive and functions primarily at short wavelengths. 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 'repulsive.' 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 repulsive

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about repulsive

Statistics for repulsive

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for repulsive

The first known use of repulsive was in 1594

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for repulsive

repulsive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of repulsive

: causing strong dislike or disgust
physics : of or relating to the force that pushes something away from something else

repulsive

adjective
re·​pul·​sive | \ ri-ˈpəl-siv How to pronounce repulsive (audio) \

Kids Definition of repulsive

: causing disgust a repulsive sight

Other Words from repulsive

repulsively adverb
repulsiveness noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on repulsive

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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