View synonyms for repulsive


[ ri-puhl-siv ]


  1. causing repugnance or aversion:

    a repulsive mask.

    Synonyms: distasteful, offensive, disgusting, loathsome

  2. capable of causing repulsion; serving to repulse:

    to present enough repulsive force to keep the enemy from daring to attack.

  3. tending to drive away or keep at a distance; cold; forbidding:

    arrogant, repulsive airs to frighten the timid.

  4. Physics. of the nature of or characterized by physical repulsion.


/ rɪˈpʌlsɪv /


  1. causing or occasioning repugnance; loathsome; disgusting or distasteful

    a repulsive sight

  2. tending to repel, esp by coldness and discourtesy
  3. physics concerned with, producing, or being a repulsion

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Derived Forms

  • reˈpulsiveness, noun
  • reˈpulsively, adverb

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Other Words From

  • re·pulsive·ly adverb
  • re·pulsive·ness noun
  • self-re·pulsive adjective
  • unre·pulsive adjective
  • unre·pulsive·ly adverb
  • unre·pulsive·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of repulsive1

First recorded in 1590–1600; repulse + -ive

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Example Sentences

Some repulsive force, nicknamed “dark energy” in the absence of firm knowledge of its true nature, apparently pervades the cosmos.

The nation’s fate was never going to matter more to us than it does them, however repulsive we may find their vision for it.

Its final form was not quite as repulsive as initial proposals.

She said she found the use of the word “recruit” to describe her locating and hiring of masseuses “repulsive,” insisting her work for Epstein was no different than her efforts to secure gardeners, pool attendants and chauffeurs.

In the most highly praised measurement yet, reported in Nature in July, Steinberg’s group in Toronto used what’s called the Larmor clock method to gauge how long rubidium atoms took to tunnel through a repulsive laser field.

He said he had found it repulsive, because to him it had advocated Islamic militancy.

Oh sure, the Super Bowl and all its macho imitators are commemorations of some repulsive male urge best ignored.

They absolutely must boycott this absurd, insane, sickening, repulsive, shameful, and at the same time shame-less circus.

Thomas refused to answer for a while, but now my curiosity was aroused about the repulsive young man below and I pressed him.

In the film, a young schoolgirl in uniform calls Divine sick and repulsive.

A dish of toads of the largest and most repulsive variety used to be offered one by one to the big man's relatives and guests.

This lady was forty years of age, insufferably proud of her pedigree, and in her manners stiff and repulsive.

He thought it very likely, and he wanted to see them—but movement was repulsive to his bulging body.

Unwashed, unshorn, in the loss almost of the aspect of humanity, they became repulsive to each other.

It is not easy to imagine anything more disgusting and repulsive than these priests.