a strong feeling of repugnance, distaste, or dislike: Cruelty fills me with revulsion.
a sudden and violent change of feeling or response in sentiment, taste, etc.
the act of drawing something back or away.
the fact of being so drawn.
Medicine/Medical. the diminution of morbid action in one part of the body by irritation in another.

Origin of revulsion

1535–45; < Latin revulsiōn- (stem of revulsiō) a tearing away, equivalent to revuls(us) (past participle of revellere to tear away, equivalent to re- re- + vellere to pluck) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsre·vul·sion·ar·y, adjective

Synonyms for revulsion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for revulsion

Contemporary Examples of revulsion

Historical Examples of revulsion

  • The revulsion accentuated her enjoyment of the picturesque aspects of the scene.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • The revulsion of feeling, the unspeakable horror, the remorse, was more than I could bear.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • In the revulsion of grief, he turned almost with resentment upon Hamish.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • In the first revulsion of feeling, I was perhaps unjust to my associates.

  • "I'll come with you, Gaspare," she said, with a revulsion of feeling.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

British Dictionary definitions for revulsion



a sudden and unpleasant violent reaction in feeling, esp one of extreme loathing
the act or an instance of drawing back or recoiling from something
obsolete the diversion of disease or congestion from one part of the body to another by cupping, counterirritants, etc
Derived Formsrevulsionary, adjective

Word Origin for revulsion

C16: from Latin revulsiō a pulling away, from revellere, from re- + vellere to pull, tear
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 revulsion

1540s, as a medical term, from Middle French revulsion (16c.) or directly from Latin revulsionem (nominative revulsio) "a tearing off, act of pulling away," noun of action from past participle stem of revellere "to pull away," from re- "away" (see re-) + vellere "to tear, pull," from PIE *wel- "to tear, pull." The meaning "sudden reaction of disgust" is first attested 1816.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

revulsion in Medicine




A sudden, strong change or reaction in feeling, especially a feeling of violent disgust or loathing.
Counterirritation used to reduce inflammation or increase the blood supply to an affected area.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.