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quell

[kwel] /kwɛl/
verb (used with object)
1.
to suppress; put an end to; extinguish:
The troops quelled the rebellion quickly.
2.
to vanquish; subdue.
3.
to quiet or allay (emotions, anxieties, etc.):
The child's mother quelled his fears of the thunder.
Origin of quell
900
before 900; Middle English quellen, Old English cwellan to kill; akin to Old Norse kvelja to torment, German quälen to vex; cf. kill1
Related forms
quellable, adjective
queller, noun
unquellable, adjective
unquelled, adjective
Can be confused
quail, quell, quill.
Synonyms
1, 2. crush, quash, overpower, overcome, defeat, conquer, quench. 3. calm, pacify, compose, hush.
Antonyms
1, 2. foster. 3. agitate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for quell
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Grendel now, monster cruel, be mine to quell in single battle!

    Beowulf Anonymous
  • Not that you can replace Hilary, but you need solitude to quell your pride.

    Father Sergius Leo Tolstoy
  • He should be able to quell a mutiny, check a mob or stamp out a rebellion.

    Blood and Iron John Hubert Greusel
  • There was only one way to quell this mutiny, and that was to soothe it away.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • To quell this feeling, a reorganization of the army was effected.

British Dictionary definitions for quell

quell

/kwɛl/
verb (transitive)
1.
to suppress or beat down (rebellion, disorder, etc); subdue
2.
to overcome or allay: to quell pain, to quell grief
Derived Forms
queller, noun
Word Origin
Old English cwellan to kill; related to Old Saxon quellian, Old High German quellen, Old Norse kvelja to torment
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 quell
v.

Old English cwellan "to kill, murder, execute," from Proto-Germanic *kwaljanan (cf. Old English cwelan "to die," cwalu "violent death;" Old Saxon quellian "to torture, kill;" Old Norse kvelja "to torment;" Middle Dutch quelen "to vex, tease, torment;" Old High German quellan "to suffer pain," German quälen "to torment, torture"), from PIE *gwele- "to throw, reach," with extended sense of "to pierce" (cf. Armenian kelem "I torture;" Old Church Slavonic zali "pain;" Lithuanian galas "end," gela "agony," gelati "to sting"). Milder sense of "suppress, extinguish" developed by c.1300. Related: Quelled; quelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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