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verb (used with object), ex·pelled, ex·pel·ling.
  1. to drive or force out or away; discharge or eject: to expel air from the lungs; to expel an invader from a country.
  2. to cut off from membership or relations: to expel a student from a college.

Origin of expel

1350–1400; Middle English expellen < Latin expellere to drive out, drive away, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + pellere to push, drive
Related formsex·pel·la·ble, adjectivere·ex·pel, verb (used with object), re·ex·pelled, re·ex·pel·ling.un·ex·pel·la·ble, adjectiveun·ex·pelled, adjective

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for expel


verb -pels, -pelling or -pelled (tr)
  1. to eject or drive out with force
  2. to deprive of participation in or membership of a school, club, etc
Derived Formsexpellable, adjectiveexpellee (ˌɛkspɛˈliː), nounexpeller, noun

Word Origin for expel

C14: from Latin expellere to drive out, from pellere to thrust, 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 expel

late 14c., from Latin expellere "drive out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + pellere "to drive" (see pulse (n.1)). Meaning "to eject from a school" is first recorded 1640s. Related: Expelled; expelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper