Tammie applies bug spray to repel mosquitos before she goes for a hike on the trail.
- An example of to repel is the way citronella keeps mosquitoes away.
- An example of to repel is how sunlight drives away vampires.
transitive verb-·pelled′, -·pel′ling
- to drive or force back; hold or ward off: to repel an attack
- to refuse to accept, agree to, or submit to; reject: to repel advances
- to refuse to accept (a person); spurn: to repel a suitor
- to cause distaste or dislike in; disgust: the odor repelled him
- to cause (insects, etc.) to react by staying away
- to be resistant to, or present an opposing force to: a coating that repels moisture
- to fail to mix with or adhere to: water repels oil
Origin of repelMiddle English repellen from Classical Latin repellere, to drive back from re-, back + pellere, to drive: see pulse
- to drive off, or offer an opposing force to, something
- to cause distaste, dislike, or aversion
verbre·pelled, re·pel·ling, re·pels
- To ward off or keep away; drive back: repel insects.
- To offer resistance to; fight against: repel an invasion.
- To refuse to accept or submit to; reject: a company that was trying to repel a hostile takeover.
- To refuse to accept (someone); spurn.
- To cause aversion or distaste in: Your rudeness repels everyone. See Synonyms at disgust. See Usage Note at repulse.
- To be resistant to; be incapable of absorbing or mixing with: Oil repels water.
- Physics To present an opposing force to; push back or away from by a force: Electric charges of the same sign repel one another.
- To offer a resistant force to something.
- To cause aversion or distaste: behavior that repels.
Origin of repelMiddle English repellen from Old French repeller from Latin repellere re- re- pellere to drive ; see pel-5 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present repels, present participle repelling, simple past and past participle repelled)
- (now rare) To turn (someone) away from a privilege, right, job, etc. [from 15th c.]
- To reject, put off (a request, demand etc.). [from 15th c.]
- To ward off (a malignant influence, attack etc.). [from 15th c.]
- To drive back (an assailant, advancing force etc.). [from 15th c.]
- (physics) To force away by means of a repulsive force. [from 17th c.]
- To cause repulsion, cause dislike. [from 18th c.]
- (sports) To save (a shot)