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

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

to act with a force that drives or keeps away something.
to cause distaste or aversion.

Nearby words

  1. repeatedly,
  2. repeater,
  3. repeating decimal,
  4. repeating firearm,
  5. repechage,
  6. repellant,
  7. repellent,
  8. repent,
  9. repentance,
  10. repentant

Origin of repel

1350–1400; Middle English repellen < Latin repellere to drive back, equivalent to re- re- + pellere to drive, push; see repulse

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

Examples from the Web for repel

British Dictionary definitions for repel


verb -pels, -pelling or -pelled (mainly tr)

to force or drive back (something or somebody, esp an attacker)
(also intr) to produce a feeling of aversion or distaste in (someone or something); be disgusting (to)
to push aside; dismisshe repelled the suggestion as wrong and impossible
to be effective in keeping away, controlling, or resistingan aerosol spray that repels flies
to have no affinity for; fail to mix with or absorbwater and oil repel each other
to disdain to accept (something); turn away from or spurnshe repelled his advances
(also intr) to exert an opposing force on (something)an electric charge repels another charge of the same sign
Derived Formsrepeller, noun

Word Origin for repel

C15: from Latin repellere, from re- + pellere to push, 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 repel



early 15c., "to drive away, remove," from Old French repeller or directly from Latin repellere "to drive back," from re- "back" (see re-) + pellere "to drive, strike" (see pulse (n.1)). Meaning "to affect (a person) with distaste or aversion" is from 1817. Related: Repelled; repelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper