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[kwel] /kwɛl/
verb (used with object)
to suppress; put an end to; extinguish:
The troops quelled the rebellion quickly.
to vanquish; subdue.
to quiet or allay (emotions, anxieties, etc.):
The child's mother quelled his fears of the thunder.
Origin of quell
before 900; Middle English quellen, Old English cwellan to kill; akin to Old Norse kvelja to torment, German quälen to vex; cf. kill1
Related forms
quellable, adjective
queller, noun
unquellable, adjective
unquelled, adjective
Can be confused
quail, quell, quill.
1, 2. crush, quash, overpower, overcome, defeat, conquer, quench. 3. calm, pacify, compose, hush.
1, 2. foster. 3. agitate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for queller
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Jeff Milton the whole man as well as the queller of bad men.

  • Many have tried to do that, and it took several days to separate the two and tell which was mad dog and which was queller.

    Remarks Bill Nye
British Dictionary definitions for queller


verb (transitive)
to suppress or beat down (rebellion, disorder, etc); subdue
to overcome or allay: to quell pain, to quell grief
Derived Forms
queller, noun
Word Origin
Old English cwellan to kill; related to Old Saxon quellian, Old High German quellen, Old Norse kvelja to torment
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
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Word Origin and History for queller

Old English cwellere "killer," agent noun from cwellan (see quell).



Old English cwellan "to kill, murder, execute," from Proto-Germanic *kwaljanan (cf. Old English cwelan "to die," cwalu "violent death;" Old Saxon quellian "to torture, kill;" Old Norse kvelja "to torment;" Middle Dutch quelen "to vex, tease, torment;" Old High German quellan "to suffer pain," German quälen "to torment, torture"), from PIE *gwele- "to throw, reach," with extended sense of "to pierce" (cf. Armenian kelem "I torture;" Old Church Slavonic zali "pain;" Lithuanian galas "end," gela "agony," gelati "to sting"). Milder sense of "suppress, extinguish" developed by c.1300. Related: Quelled; quelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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