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[ri-pel] /rɪˈpɛl/
verb (used with object), repelled, repelling.
to drive or force back (an assailant, invader, etc.).
to thrust back or away.
to resist effectively (an attack, onslaught, etc.).
to keep off or out; fail to mix with:
Water and oil repel each other.
to resist the absorption or passage of (water or other liquid):
This coat repels rain.
to refuse to have to do with; resist involvement in:
to repel temptation.
to refuse to accept or admit; reject:
to repel a suggestion.
to discourage the advances of (a person):
He repelled me with his harshness.
to cause distaste or aversion in:
Their untidy appearance repelled us.
to push back or away by a force, as one body acting upon another (opposed to attract):
The north pole of one magnet will repel the north pole of another.
verb (used without object), repelled, repelling.
to act with a force that drives or keeps away something.
to cause distaste or aversion.
Origin of repel
1350-1400; Middle English repellen < Latin repellere to drive back, equivalent to re- re- + pellere to drive, push; see repulse
Related forms
repellence, repellency, noun
repeller, noun
repellingly, adverb
repellingness, noun
nonrepellence, noun
nonrepellency, noun
nonrepeller, noun
self-repellency, noun
unrepelled, adjective
1. repulse, parry, ward off. 3. withstand, oppose, rebuff. 7. decline, rebuff.
1. attract. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for repelled
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And all love that spoke not of the altar only shocked and repelled her.

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • His instinct of sympathy with which he had greeted her at the outset was repelled, and made of no avail.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • No more was to be got out of her, and Sue, baffled and repelled, went her way.

    Leonore Stubbs L. B. Walford
  • She repelled my mocking smile with a glance of scornful indignation.

  • Yet, for all his humility, he was possessed by a spirit of egoism that repelled me.

    Zuleika Dobson Max Beerbohm
British Dictionary definitions for repelled


verb (mainly transitive) -pels, -pelling, -pelled
to force or drive back (something or somebody, esp an attacker)
(also intransitive) to produce a feeling of aversion or distaste in (someone or something); be disgusting (to)
to push aside; dismiss: he repelled the suggestion as wrong and impossible
to be effective in keeping away, controlling, or resisting: an aerosol spray that repels flies
to have no affinity for; fail to mix with or absorb: water and oil repel each other
to disdain to accept (something); turn away from or spurn: she repelled his advances
(also intransitive) to exert an opposing force on (something): an electric charge repels another charge of the same sign
Derived Forms
repeller, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin repellere, from re- + pellere to push, 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
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Word Origin and History for repelled



early 15c., "to drive away, remove," from Old French repeller or directly from Latin repellere "to drive back," from re- "back" (see re-) + pellere "to drive, strike" (see pulse (n.1)). Meaning "to affect (a person) with distaste or aversion" is from 1817. Related: Repelled; repelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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