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[ri-vuhl-shuh n] /rɪˈvʌl ʃən/
a strong feeling of repugnance, distaste, or dislike:
Cruelty fills me with revulsion.
a sudden and violent change of feeling or response in sentiment, taste, etc.
the act of drawing something back or away.
the fact of being so drawn.
Medicine/Medical. the diminution of morbid action in one part of the body by irritation in another.
Origin of revulsion
1535-45; < Latin revulsiōn- (stem of revulsiō) a tearing away, equivalent to revuls(us) (past participle of revellere to tear away, equivalent to re- re- + vellere to pluck) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
revulsionary, adjective
1. disgust, repulsion, loathing, aversion. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for revulsion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And then, in the revulsion from his high spirits, he was overwhelmed with despair.

    The Bishop's Apron W. Somerset Maugham
  • The revulsion accentuated her enjoyment of the picturesque aspects of the scene.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • The revulsion, when it did come, was so strong, that he hastily resolved to say nothing at home about the offered benefice.

  • The revulsion of feeling, the unspeakable horror, the remorse, was more than I could bear.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • Yuma was the only new employee in the Basin that Penny could look at without an instinctive feeling of revulsion.

    The Lone Ranger Rides Fran Striker
British Dictionary definitions for revulsion


a sudden and unpleasant violent reaction in feeling, esp one of extreme loathing
the act or an instance of drawing back or recoiling from something
(obsolete) the diversion of disease or congestion from one part of the body to another by cupping, counterirritants, etc
Derived Forms
revulsionary, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin revulsiō a pulling away, from revellere, from re- + vellere to pull, tear
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 revulsion

1540s, as a medical term, from Middle French revulsion (16c.) or directly from Latin revulsionem (nominative revulsio) "a tearing off, act of pulling away," noun of action from past participle stem of revellere "to pull away," from re- "away" (see re-) + vellere "to tear, pull," from PIE *wel- "to tear, pull." The meaning "sudden reaction of disgust" is first attested 1816.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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revulsion in Medicine

revulsion re·vul·sion (rĭ-vŭl'shən)

  1. A sudden, strong change or reaction in feeling, especially a feeling of violent disgust or loathing.

  2. Counterirritation used to reduce inflammation or increase the blood supply to an affected area.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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