[ri-puhl-shuh n]


the act of repulsing or the state of being repulsed.
the feeling of being repelled, as by the thought or presence of something; distaste, repugnance, or aversion.
Physics. the force that acts between bodies of like electric charge or magnetic polarity, tending to separate them.

Origin of repulsion

1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle French < Medieval Latin repulsiōn- (stem of Late Latin repulsiō), equivalent to Latin repuls(us) (see repulse) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsin·ter·re·pul·sion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for repulsion

Contemporary Examples of repulsion

Historical Examples of repulsion

  • The gravity-plates for repulsion were those in the helmet; for attraction, those in the boot-soles.

    The Bluff of the Hawk

    Anthony Gilmore

  • A sort of repulsion and attraction separated and kept them together at the same time.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • If the good is there, so is the evil; if the affinity, so the repulsion; if the force, so the limitation.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "His people, though," thought Roma, and so she conquered her repulsion.

  • "No, thank you," she replied, and she was surprised at herself that she experienced no repulsion.

British Dictionary definitions for repulsion



a feeling of disgust or aversion
physics a force tending to separate two objects, such as the force between two like electric charges or magnetic poles
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 repulsion

early 15c., "repudiation," from Late Latin repulsionem (nominative repulsio) "a repelling," noun of action from past participle stem of repellere (see repel). Meaning "action of forcing or driving back" is attested from 1540s. Sense of "strong dislike" is from 1751.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

repulsion in Medicine




The act of repelling or driving apart.
A feeling of extreme dislike.
The tendency of particles or bodies of the same electric charge or magnetic polarity to separate.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.