- causing repugnance or aversion: a repulsive mask.
- capable of causing repulsion; serving to repulse: to present enough repulsive force to keep the enemy from daring to attack.
- tending to drive away or keep at a distance; cold; forbidding: arrogant, repulsive airs to frighten the timid.
- Physics. of the nature of or characterized by physical repulsion.
Origin of repulsive
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsdistasteful, vile, objectionable, creepy, odious, abhorrent, ugly, unpleasant, hateful, nasty, revolting, hideous, off-putting, abominable, animal, disagreeable, forbidding, foul, gross, loathsome
Examples from the Web for repulsive
He said he had found it repulsive, because to him it had advocated Islamic militancy.Religion, Race, and a Broadway Hit: The Making of ‘Disgraced’
November 10, 2014
Oh sure, the Super Bowl and all its macho imitators are commemorations of some repulsive male urge best ignored.Does Fatherhood Make Men Healthier?
June 14, 2014
They absolutely must boycott this absurd, insane, sickening, repulsive, shameful, and at the same time shame-less circus.The B Is Back: The Benghazi Hearings Are Bullsh*t
May 7, 2014
Thomas refused to answer for a while, but now my curiosity was aroused about the repulsive young man below and I pressed him.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
In the film, a young schoolgirl in uniform calls Divine sick and repulsive.A Tribute to Divine, Hollywood’s Most Infamous Drag Queen
October 27, 2013
In his mind he could see only the repulsive features of one of the others.The Monster Men
Edgar Rice Burroughs
He was repulsive; he was stealthy, hard, cruel, in appearance.The First Violin
It had grown to be repulsive, and he knew not how to fill the void in his life.Beauty and The Beast, and Tales From Home
Tyndall was impressed again with the repulsive ugliness of the thing.Grove of the Unborn
The eyes were mere dots of jet in a white and repulsive face.Two Thousand Miles Below
Charles Willard Diffin
- causing or occasioning repugnance; loathsome; disgusting or distastefula repulsive sight
- tending to repel, esp by coldness and discourtesy
- physics concerned with, producing, or being a repulsion
Word Origin and History for repulsive
early 15c., "able to repel," from Middle French repulsif (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin repulsivus, from repuls-, past participle stem of repellere (see repel). The sense of "causing disgust" is first recorded 1816. Related: Repulsively; repulsiveness.