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

  • transitive v. To drive back; repel.
  • transitive v. To rebuff or reject with rudeness, coldness, or denial.
  • transitive v. Usage Problem To cause repugnance or distaste in.
  • n. The act of repulsing or the state of being repulsed.
  • n. Rejection; refusal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to repel or drive back
  • v. to reject or rebuff
  • v. to cause revulsion
  • n. the act of repulsing or the state of being repulsed
  • n. refusal, rejection or repulsion

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of repelling or driving back; also, the state of being repelled or driven back.
  • n. Figuratively: Refusal; denial; rejection; failure.
  • transitive v. To repel; to beat or drive back
  • transitive v. To repel by discourtesy, coldness, or denial; to reject; to send away.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To beat or drive back; repel: as, to repulse an assailant or advancing enemy.
  • To refuse; reject.
  • n. The act of repelling or driving back.
  • n. The condition of being repelled; the state of being checked in advancing, or driven back by force.
  • n. Refusal; denial.

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

  • v. be repellent to; cause aversion in
  • n. an instance of driving away or warding off
  • v. cause to move back by force or influence
  • v. force or drive back


Middle English repulsen, from Latin repellere, repuls-; see repel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin repellere ("to drive back"), from re- ("back") + pellere ("to drive"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.