- To repel is defined as to hold off, refuse to accept or reject.
- An example of to repel is the way citronella keeps mosquitoes away.
- An example of to repel is how sunlight drives away vampires.
- 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: Middle English repellen from Classical Latin repellere, to drive back from re-, back plush pellere, to drive: see pulse
- to drive off, or offer an opposing force to, something
- to cause distaste, dislike, or aversion
- repeller noun
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb re·pelled, re·pel·ling, re·pels verb, transitive
- To ward off or keep away; drive back: repel insects.
- To offer resistance to; fight against: repel an invasion.
- To refuse to accept; reject: a company that was trying to repel a hostile takeover.
- To turn away from; 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 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: Middle English repellen, from Old French repeller, from Latin repellere : re-, re- + pellere, to drive; see pel-5 in Indo-European roots.
- re·pelˈler noun