[ ra-pel, ruh- ]
/ ræˈpɛl, rə- /


(in mountaineering) the act or method of moving down a steep incline or past an overhang by means of a double rope secured above and placed around the body, usually under the left thigh and over the right shoulder, and paid out gradually in the descent.

verb (used without object), rap·pelled, rap·pel·ling.

to descend by means of a rappel.

Nearby words

  1. rapp,
  2. rapp, george,
  3. rappahannock,
  4. rapparee,
  5. rappee,
  6. rappen,
  7. rapper,
  8. rapping,
  9. rappini,
  10. rappist

Origin of rappel

1930–35; < French: mountaineering term, literally, a recall. See repeal

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

Examples from the Web for rappel

British Dictionary definitions for rappel


/ (ræˈpɛl) /

verb -pels, -pelling or -pelled

another word (esp US) for abseil


another word (esp US) for abseil
(formerly) a drumbeat to call soldiers to arms

Word Origin for rappel

C19: from French, from rappeler to call back, from Latin appellāre to summon

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 rappel
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper