- to suppress; put an end to; extinguish: The troops quelled the rebellion quickly.
- to vanquish; subdue.
- to quiet or allay (emotions, anxieties, etc.): The child's mother quelled his fears of the thunder.
Origin of quell
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for quelling
With mood-care they mourned their own liege lord's quelling.The Tale of Beowulf
He had all his life been looking for a chance of quelling a riot.General John Regan
George A. Birmingham
Like all the rest I, too, grew ill;My aching heart there was no quelling.The Book of Humorous Verse
Like a David before Goliath, he confronted Archie with a quelling eye.The Shadow of Life
Anne Douglas Sedgwick
He succeeded in quelling the broil and gave them a long lecture.William Clayton's Journal
- to suppress or beat down (rebellion, disorder, etc); subdue
- to overcome or allayto quell pain; to quell grief
Word Origin and History for quelling
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.