[ dih-spel ]
/ dɪˈspɛl /

verb (used with object), dis·pelled, dis·pel·ling.

to drive off in various directions; disperse; dissipate: to dispel the dense fog.
to cause to vanish; alleviate: to dispel her fears.

Nearby words

  1. dispatch box,
  2. dispatch case,
  3. dispatch rider,
  4. dispatcher,
  5. dispauper,
  6. dispend,
  7. dispensable,
  8. dispensary,
  9. dispensation,
  10. dispensationalism

Origin of dispel

1625–35; < Latin dispellere to drive asunder, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + pellere to drive

Related formsdis·pel·la·ble, adjectivedis·pel·ler, nounun·dis·pel·la·ble, adjectiveun·dis·pelled, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dispel

British Dictionary definitions for dispel


/ (dɪˈspɛl) /

verb -pels, -pelling or -pelled

(tr) to disperse or drive away
Derived Formsdispeller, noun

Word Origin for dispel

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

Word Origin and History for dispel



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