Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

quell

[kwel]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
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

before 900; Middle English quellen, Old English cwellan to kill; akin to Old Norse kvelja to torment, German quälen to vex; cf. kill1
Related formsquell·a·ble, adjectivequell·er, nounun·quell·a·ble, adjectiveun·quelled, adjective
Can be confusedquail quell quill

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for quelling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for quelling

quell

verb (tr)
  1. to suppress or beat down (rebellion, disorder, etc); subdue
  2. to overcome or allayto quell pain; to quell grief
Derived Formsqueller, 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

Word Origin and History for quelling

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