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[kwel] /kwɛl/
verb (used with object)
to suppress; put an end to; extinguish:
The troops quelled the rebellion quickly.
to vanquish; subdue.
to quiet or allay (emotions, anxieties, etc.):
The child's mother quelled his fears of the thunder.
Origin of quell
before 900; Middle English quellen, Old English cwellan to kill; akin to Old Norse kvelja to torment, German quälen to vex; cf. kill1
Related forms
quellable, adjective
queller, noun
unquellable, adjective
unquelled, adjective
Can be confused
quail, quell, quill.
1, 2. crush, quash, overpower, overcome, defeat, conquer, quench. 3. calm, pacify, compose, hush.
1, 2. foster. 3. agitate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unquelled
Historical Examples
  • It sounded to Cap'n Oliver strangely like a voice out of his past, unquelled by fears and abnegations.

    Country Neighbors Alice Brown
  • The storm overhead had abated, but the rage of the sea was unquelled.

    The Stolen Singer Martha Idell Fletcher Bellinger
  • When he wrote this he had already shown what his unquelled energy could accomplish.

    Bacon Richard William Church
  • Nevertheless, with a dogged persistency unusual to our Gallic neighbours, they continued to fight with unquelled vigour.

British Dictionary definitions for unquelled


verb (transitive)
to suppress or beat down (rebellion, disorder, etc); subdue
to overcome or allay: to quell pain, to quell grief
Derived Forms
queller, noun
Word Origin
Old English cwellan to kill; related to Old Saxon quellian, Old High German quellen, Old Norse kvelja to torment
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 unquelled



Old English cwellan "to kill, murder, execute," from Proto-Germanic *kwaljanan (cf. Old English cwelan "to die," cwalu "violent death;" Old Saxon quellian "to torture, kill;" Old Norse kvelja "to torment;" Middle Dutch quelen "to vex, tease, torment;" Old High German quellan "to suffer pain," German quälen "to torment, torture"), from PIE *gwele- "to throw, reach," with extended sense of "to pierce" (cf. Armenian kelem "I torture;" Old Church Slavonic zali "pain;" Lithuanian galas "end," gela "agony," gelati "to sting"). Milder sense of "suppress, extinguish" developed by c.1300. Related: Quelled; quelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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