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[dih-spel] /dɪˈspɛl/
verb (used with object), dispelled, dispelling.
to drive off in various directions; disperse; dissipate:
to dispel the dense fog.
to cause to vanish; alleviate:
to dispel her fears.
Origin of dispel
1625-35; < Latin dispellere to drive asunder, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + pellere to drive
Related forms
dispellable, adjective
dispeller, noun
undispellable, adjective
undispelled, adjective
1, 2. See scatter.
1. gather. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dispelling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The dispelling of the charm was just the natural physical action of the herb.


    Benjamin Taylor
  • dispelling a shadow of irritation that has crossed her face.

    Theft Jack London
  • He talked on convincingly, dispelling all hesitation by words and gesture.

  • The sunshine brightened instead of dispelling these effects.

    Northern Travel Bayard Taylor
  • He had only given himself fits of despondency for the pleasure of dispelling them.

    When a Man's Single J. M. Barrie
  • He saw hope in their faces again, dispelling the mood of resentment and rage.

    King Coal Upton Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for dispelling


verb -pels, -pelling, -pelled
(transitive) to disperse or drive away
Derived Forms
dispeller, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin dispellere, from dis-1 + pellere to drive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dispelling



c.1400, dispelen, from Latin dispellere "drive apart," from dis- "away" (see dis-) + pellere "to drive, push" (see pulse (n.1)). Since the meaning is "to drive away in different directions" it should not have as an object a single, indivisible thing (you can dispel suspicion, but not an accusation). Related: Dispelled; dispelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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