9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ra-pel, ruh-] /ræˈpɛl, rə-/
(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.
Origin of rappel
1930-35; < French: mountaineering term, literally, a recall. See repeal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rappelling
  • When you're rappelling off a waterfall, there's a point where you're hanging on your rope but also floating in the water.
  • rappelling is the art of descending a cliff face or wall while suspended from a rope.
  • Today's rappelling expedition, whose liability waiver required listing her insurance carrier, also ranks up there.
  • The one-day course teaches rappelling, belaying, climbing technique and rope tying.
  • It also features elements of rock climbing and rappelling.
  • The wall behind the arch is a popular rappelling spot.
  • Travelers can try rock climbing and rappelling on-site or explore the hiking and mountain biking trails.
  • Rock climbing and rappelling are key ingredients to exploring canyons.
  • More advanced cavers can try rappelling and spelunking.
  • Depending on the tour you choose, your adventure might end with rappelling or even be combined with a high-speed boat ride.
British Dictionary definitions for rappelling


verb -pels, -pelling, -pelled
another word (esp US) for abseil
another word (esp US) for abseil
(formerly) a drumbeat to call soldiers to arms
Word Origin
C19: from French, from rappeler to call back, from Latin appellāre to summon
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 rappelling



1931, "mountaineering technique for descending steep faces," from French rappel, literally "recall" (Old French rapel), from rapeler "to recall, summon" (see repeal (v.)). The same word had been borrowed earlier (1848) to mean "a drum roll to summon soldiers."


1957 in the mountaineering sense; see rappel (n.). Related: Rappeled; rappelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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