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.

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

Synonyms for dispel

1, 2. See scatter.

Antonyms for dispel

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

Examples from the Web for dispelled

Contemporary Examples of dispelled

Historical Examples of dispelled

  • Just a tiny little ray of sunshine had dispelled all the gloom for a minute.


    W. A. Fraser

  • The coming of daylight dispelled his fears but increased his loneliness.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • A sudden discharge of shot from the savages in ambush, dispelled that hope.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare

    Alexander Scott Withers

  • The last doubts were then dispelled; the attack was coming from the east.

  • Had Olivier and his father the least suspicion, it would have been dispelled at once by this testimony.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for dispelled


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 dispelled



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