- to drive or force back (an assailant, invader, etc.).
- to thrust back or away.
- to resist effectively (an attack, onslaught, etc.).
- to keep off or out; fail to mix with: Water and oil repel each other.
- to resist the absorption or passage of (water or other liquid): This coat repels rain.
- to refuse to have to do with; resist involvement in: to repel temptation.
- to refuse to accept or admit; reject: to repel a suggestion.
- to discourage the advances of (a person): He repelled me with his harshness.
- to cause distaste or aversion in: Their untidy appearance repelled us.
- to push back or away by a force, as one body acting upon another (opposed to attract): The north pole of one magnet will repel the north pole of another.
- to act with a force that drives or keeps away something.
- to cause distaste or aversion.
Origin of repel
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for repel
The only exception is military action to repel an imminent attack.Obama’s ISIS War Is Illegal
Sen. Rand Paul
November 10, 2014
Bieber now knows his perfect body is no longer the weaponry with which to repel his bad press.Justin Bieber's Abs Cannot Save Him
September 10, 2014
It was easy to imagine that the landscape was actively trying to repel us.An Author at Home in Lonely Landscapes
July 11, 2014
On paper, the forces in Tikrit should have been more than adequate to repel even a force of this size.The Paper Tiger of the Tigris: How ISIS Took Tikrit Without a Fight
June 29, 2014
Scuffles broke out with riot police, who used pepper spray to repel party members wielding Greek flags on thick wooden sticks.Golden Dawn Continues Its Message of Hate
May 3, 2013
But the shock was insufficient to repel the impetus of the charge.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
Or did the horror of the men at the sight of him wound and repel him?A Dish Of Orts
Energetic measures were, however, adopted to repel the attack.
We see the noble afar off and they repel us; why should we intrude?Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Something that he could not repel since it had no substance he could grapple with.The Sea-Hawk
- 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
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper