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

  • transitive v. To ward off or keep away; drive back: repel insects.
  • transitive v. To offer resistance to; fight against: repel an invasion.
  • transitive v. To refuse to accept; reject: a company that was trying to repel a hostile takeover.
  • transitive v. To turn away from; spurn.
  • transitive v. To cause aversion or distaste in: Your rudeness repels everyone. See Synonyms at disgust. See Usage Note at repulse.
  • transitive v. To be resistant to; be incapable of absorbing or mixing with: Oil repels water.
  • transitive v. Physics To present an opposing force to; push back or away by a force: Electric charges of the same sign repel one another.
  • intransitive v. To offer a resistant force to something.
  • intransitive v. To cause aversion or distaste: behavior that repels.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To save (a shot)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To act with force in opposition to force impressed; to exercise repulsion.
  • transitive v. To drive back; to force to return; to check the advance of; to repulse as, to repel an enemy or an assailant.
  • transitive v. To resist or oppose effectually.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To drive back; force to return; check the advance of; repulse: as, to repel an assailant.
  • To encounter in any manner with effectual resistance; resist; oppose; reject: as, to repel an encroachment; to repel an argument.
  • To drive back or away: the opposite of attract. See repulsion.
  • Synonyms and Decline, Reject, etc. (see refuse), parry, ward off, defeat.
  • To act with force in opposition to force impressed; antagonize.
  • In medicine, to prevent such an afflux of fluids to any particular part as would render it tumid or swollen.

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

  • v. fill with distaste
  • v. reject outright and bluntly
  • v. be repellent to; cause aversion in
  • v. force or drive back
  • v. cause to move back by force or influence


Middle English repellen, from Old French repeller, from Latin repellere : re-, re- + pellere, to drive.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English repellen, from Old French * repeller, from Latin repellere ("to drive back"), from re- ("back") + pellere ("to drive"). (Wiktionary)



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