[ra-pel, ruh-]
(in mountaineering) the act or method of moving down a steep incline or past an overhang by means of a double rope secured above and placed around the body, usually under the left thigh and over the right shoulder, and paid out gradually in the descent.
verb (used without object), rappelled, rappelling.
to descend by means of a rappel.

1930–35; < French: mountaineering term, literally, a recall. See repeal

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World English Dictionary
rappel (ræˈpɛl)
vb, —n , -pels, -pelling, -pelled
1.  another word for abseil
2.  (formerly) a drumbeat to call soldiers to arms
[C19: from French, from rappeler to call back, from Latin appellāre to summon]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1931, "mountaineering technique for descending steep faces," from Fr. rappel, lit. "recall," from O.Fr. rapel, from rapeler "to recall, summon" (see repeal). The verb is first recorded 1957. The same word had been borrowed earlier (1848) to mean "a drum roll to summon soldiers."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Adventurers are also allowed, on the same day, to rappel from the span.
To reach the bottom you need to rappel down, which is an easy skill to learn even as a beginning climber.
The park requests that climbers rappel from the anchors instead of lowering, if possible.
Don't climb or rappel in areas where it is not permitted.
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