[ ri-puhls ]
/ rɪˈpʌls /

verb (used with object), re·pulsed, re·puls·ing.

to drive back; repel: to repulse an assailant.
to repel with denial, discourtesy, or the like; refuse or reject.
to cause feelings of repulsion in: The scenes of violence in the film may repulse some viewers.


the act of repelling.
the fact of being repelled, as in hostile encounter.
a refusal or rejection.

Origin of repulse

1375–1425; late Middle English <Latin repulsus, past participle of repellere to repel


re·puls·er, nounun·re·pulsed, adjectiveun·re·puls·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for repulse

British Dictionary definitions for repulse

/ (rɪˈpʌls) /

verb (tr)

to drive back or ward off (an attacking force); repel; rebuff
to reject with coldness or discourtesyshe repulsed his advances
to produce a feeling of aversion or distaste


the act or an instance of driving back or warding off; rebuff
a cold discourteous rejection or refusal

Derived forms of repulse

repulser, noun

Word Origin for repulse

C16: from Latin repellere to drive back, repel

usage for repulse

Some people think that the use of repulse in sentences such as he was repulsed by what he saw is incorrect and that the correct word is repel
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