re·​vul·​sion | \ ri-ˈvəl-shən How to pronounce revulsion (audio) \

Definition of revulsion

1 : a strong pulling or drawing away : withdrawal
2a : a sudden or strong reaction or change
b : a sense of utter distaste or repugnance

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from revulsion

revulsive \ ri-​ˈvəl-​siv How to pronounce revulsion (audio) \ adjective

Examples of revulsion in a Sentence

She was struck with revulsion at the sight of the dead animal. a growing revulsion to war
Recent Examples on the Web In his inaugural address four years earlier, Trump had previewed the defiant, even apocalyptic rhetoric that would be his signature, bringing a look of revulsion from outgoing first lady Michelle Obama and a shocked expletive from George W. Bush. Susan Page, USA TODAY, "With plain language and open emotion, Biden urges shaken nation to regain its footing in wake of divisive president," 20 Jan. 2021 In other words, the revulsion to cannibalism is not innate. Cody Cassidy, Wired, "The Case for Cannibalism, or: How to Survive the Donner Party," 13 Jan. 2021 Dairy industry experts and farmers who have viewed the footage expressed revulsion and said the abuses depicted were not the norm. New York Times, "Is Dairy Farming Cruel to Cows?," 29 Dec. 2020 But exposure is the enemy of revulsion, and people have grown comfortable with the necessity of stagecraft. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "Americans Got Tired of Looking Bad on Zoom," 19 Nov. 2020 Brendan Skip Mark, who teaches political science at the University of Rhode Island, believes the decisions were linked to the revulsion and widespread protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota in May. Jay Reeves, Star Tribune, "5 states OK measures eradicating racist language, symbols," 8 Nov. 2020 Of top concern for both parties: What happens with those suburban voters who voted for Democrats in 2018 and 2020 because of their revulsion to Trump? David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: Biden changes the political map," 6 Nov. 2020 The song is solemn, but its music and sentiment aren’t even intense enough to inspire obsession or revulsion. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Donald Trump’s Reelection Campaign Is Total Camp," 30 Oct. 2020 The killing set off a wave of international revulsion and calls to ostracize Saudi leadership. Washington Post, "Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee and pro-democracy group he founded sue Saudi crown prince in his slaying," 20 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'revulsion.' 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 revulsion

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for revulsion

Latin revulsion-, revulsio act of tearing away, from revellere to pluck away, from re- + vellere to pluck — more at vulnerable

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about revulsion

Time Traveler for revulsion

Time Traveler

The first known use of revulsion was in 1609

See more words from the same year

Statistics for revulsion

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Revulsion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for revulsion


How to pronounce revulsion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of revulsion

somewhat formal : a very strong feeling of dislike or disgust


re·​vul·​sion | \ ri-ˈvəl-shən How to pronounce revulsion (audio) \

Kids Definition of revulsion

: a strong feeling of dislike or disgust


re·​vul·​sion | \ ri-ˈvəl-shən How to pronounce revulsion (audio) \

Medical Definition of revulsion

: alleviation of a localized disease by treatment (as with counterirritants) of an adjacent region

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on revulsion

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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