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quell

[kwel]
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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.
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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

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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 quell

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Grendel now, monster cruel, be mine to quell in single battle!

    Beowulf

    Anonymous

  • Not that you can replace Hilary, but you need solitude to quell your pride.

    Father Sergius

    Leo Tolstoy

  • He should be able to quell a mutiny, check a mob or stamp out a rebellion.

    Blood and Iron

    John Hubert Greusel

  • There was only one way to quell this mutiny, and that was to soothe it away.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • To quell this feeling, a reorganization of the army was effected.


British Dictionary definitions for quell

quell

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper