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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 repeller
Historical Examples
  • About half of this power reception ultimately actuated the repeller ray generators.

    The Airlords of Han Philip Francis Nowlan
  • In the absence of a repeller, a smooth rounded fork handle may be employed.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse United States Department of Agriculture
  • In the absence of a repeller a smooth, round, fork handle may be used, the prongs having been removed from the other end.

    Special Report on Diseases of Cattle U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Their repeller rays were relatively weak; just strong enough to lift them about ten or twelve feet from the surface.

    The Airlords of Han Philip Francis Nowlan
British Dictionary definitions for repeller


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 repeller



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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