What's the "een" in Halloween?


[dih-spel] /dɪˈspɛl/
verb (used with object), dispelled, dispelling.
to drive off in various directions; disperse; dissipate:
to dispel the dense fog.
to cause to vanish; alleviate:
to dispel her fears.
1625-35; < Latin dispellere to drive asunder, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + pellere to drive
Related forms
dispellable, adjective
dispeller, noun
undispellable, adjective
undispelled, adjective
1, 2. See scatter.
1. gather. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for dispel
  • Nor, in all honesty, did they do much to dispel that belief.
  • Facts are only useful if they can inform broader concepts and help dispel myths.
  • And the cautious nature of science is unlikely to be able to dispel belief in the link any time soon.
  • In this column, we will do our best to set the record straight and dispel popular myths about this condition.
  • First off, it's necessary to dispel the myth of teaching as a slackers paradise.
  • Meanwhile, no one can legally do anything to dispel the eagles and prevent them from eating rare birds.
  • The survey helps to dispel some myths about adjuncts.
  • There are many common misconceptions and myths about the disorder, and I appreciate any attempts to dispel them.
  • One has to use basic logic to dispel your distorted theory.
  • The wearer can summon virtual gadgets and internet data at will, then dispel them like smoke when they're done.
British Dictionary definitions for dispel


verb -pels, -pelling, -pelled
(transitive) to disperse or drive away
Derived Forms
dispeller, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin dispellere, from dis-1 + pellere to drive
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dispel

c.1400, dispelen, from Latin dispellere "drive apart," from dis- "away" (see dis-) + pellere "to drive, push" (see pulse (n.1)). Since the meaning is "to drive away in different directions" it should not have as an object a single, indivisible thing (you can dispel suspicion, but not an accusation). Related: Dispelled; dispelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Click to see easier and harder words for dispel

Word Value for dispel

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with dispel