from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To break up, drive away, or cause to disappear: synonym: scatter.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To drive off or away; scatter or disperse effectually; dissipate: as, to dispel vapors, darkness, or gloom; to dispel fears, cares, sorrows, doubts, etc.; to dispel a tumor, or humors.
  • Synonyms Disperse, Scatter, etc. (see dissipate), banish, remove.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To drive away by scattering, or so to cause to vanish; to clear away; to banish; to dissipate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To drive away by scattering, or to cause to vanish; to clear away; to banish; to dissipate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb to cause to separate and go in different directions
  • verb force to go away; used both with concrete and metaphoric meanings


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English dispellen, from Latin dispellere : dis-, apart; see dis– + pellere, to drive; see pel- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • "There is this notion, one which I try to dispel, which is that people who hold strong antigay positions are always secretly gay."

    Left Wing: When Gay Bashers Are Gay, Why Do People Just Mock and Turn Away? 2010

  • Nor clearest noon tide can that horrid pain dispel.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night 2006

  • It is astonishing how our prejudices change from youth to middle age, even without any remarkable interposition of fortune; I do not say dissipate, or even dispel, which is much more doubtful -- but they change.

    Phoebe, Junior 1862

  • PETER GELB, GENERAL MANAGER, METROPOLITAN OPERA: In an effort to kind of dispel or break down this image that the Met is some sort of an elitist organization, we have launched a whole bunch of initiatives to connect the Met to a broader public.

    CNN Transcript Dec 19, 2007 2007

  • Obviously now the White House anxious to kind of dispel the notion of any tensions.

    CNN Transcript Oct 28, 2006 2006

  • But I think this goes just a long way to kind of dispel a lot of the accusations at Al Jazeera, that we're a tool of the Iraqi regime.

    CNN Transcript Apr 3, 2003 2003

  • Was he trying to kind of dispel the theory that maybe this was an act of defense on the behalf of Nathaniel Brazill?

    CNN Transcript May 9, 2001 2001

  • Abdallah, one of the holiest of men, whom God hath blessed with supernatural powers, such as dispel doubts and obscurity.

    The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Volume II Anonymous 1879

  • Rufus: And it's also I think, it's important to kind of dispel the myth that that's where you know being gay is

    Pop Musicology 2010

  • I always took it to be a way to kind of dispel the magic that fun can produce, rewrite the narrative to a simple one where they were in charge.

    Boing Boing Cory Doctorow 2010


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