[ ri-puhl-siv ]
/ rɪˈpʌl sɪv /


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

First recorded in 1590–1600; repulse + -ive

Related forms

Can be confused

repellent repulsive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for repulsive

British Dictionary definitions for repulsive


/ (rɪˈpʌlsɪv) /


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

Derived Forms

repulsively, adverbrepulsiveness, noun
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