- causing distaste or aversion; repulsive.
- forcing or driving back.
- serving or tending to ward off or drive away.
- impervious or resistant to something (often used in combination): moth-repellant.
- something that repels, as a substance that keeps away insects.
- a medicine that serves to prevent or reduce swellings, tumors, etc.
- any of various durable or nondurable solutions applied to a fabric, garment, surface, etc., to increase its resistance, as to water, moths, mildew, etc.
Origin of repellent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for repellant
Don abandons the mistress thing, which he knows is repellant, his wife tells him so.‘Mad Men’: Matthew Weiner & Christina Hendricks on ‘The Other Woman,’ Part 1
August 7, 2012
I mean, did you ever meet anybody remotely like the repellant but inspiring Dr. Stone, who is the surgeon at the mission hospital?A Novel That's the Best Medicine
February 11, 2009
With every day the wilderness was becoming more naked and stern and repellant.Grit A-Plenty
The repellant forces that kept him back, are "not far to seek."The Philosophy of Natural Theology
Cornlie was glad to meet at the hotel a Dutch element that was not repellant.The Law Inevitable
The words were civil enough, but the tone was brusque and repellant.The Yellow House
E. Phillips Oppenheim
He was in such great and desperate earnest that he was not quite so repellant as usual.A Plucky Girl
L. T. Meade
- giving rise to disgust or aversion; distasteful or repulsive
- driving or forcing away or back; repelling
- something, esp a chemical substance, that repelsinsect repellent
- a substance with which fabrics are treated to increase their resistance to water
Word Origin and History for repellant
also repellant, 1640s, from Latin repellentem (nominative repelens), present participle of repellere (see repel). Originally of medicines (that reduced tumors); meaning "distasteful, disagreeable" first recorded 1797.
also repellant, 1660s, "medicine that reduces tumors," from repellent (adj.). As "substance that repels insects," 1908.
- Capable of driving off or repelling.
- A substance used to drive off or keep away insects.