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

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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

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 What is repulsive in one part of the world, in another is simply lunch. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Weirdest Stories We've Ever Told," 4 June 2019 The physician must have at his command a certain ready wit, as dourness is repulsive both to the healthy and the sick. Gavin Francis, The New York Review of Books, "Gavin Francis," 23 May 2019 Rather, the average kinetic energy of the molecules drops low enough for the repulsive and attractive forces among them to fall into a new, more springy balance. Quanta Magazine, "How Complex Wholes Emerge From Simple Parts," 20 Dec. 2018 This finding raises an evolutionary question: If humans generally find these traits repulsive and prefer not to mate with those who possess them, how did the dark triad manage to become so prevalent? Glenn Geher, WSJ, "The Dark Triad and the Evolution of Jerks," 6 Dec. 2018 The point of the zombie genre is that humans are strange, repulsive, and ridiculous. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Why zombies are so hilarious," 5 Dec. 2018 But in China, customers find the same odor repulsive. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Chinese customers hate “new car smell,” so Ford files a patent to bake it out," 20 Nov. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of repulsive

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for repulsive

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for repulsive

The first known use of repulsive was in 1594

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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

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Comments on repulsive

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something desired as essential

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