verb (used with object), re·pelled, re·pel·ling.

  1. to drive or force back (an assailant, invader, etc.).
  2. to thrust back or away.
  3. to resist effectively (an attack, onslaught, etc.).
  4. to keep off or out; fail to mix with: Water and oil repel each other.
  5. to resist the absorption or passage of (water or other liquid): This coat repels rain.
  6. to refuse to have to do with; resist involvement in: to repel temptation.
  7. to refuse to accept or admit; reject: to repel a suggestion.
  8. to discourage the advances of (a person): He repelled me with his harshness.
  9. to cause distaste or aversion in: Their untidy appearance repelled us.
  10. to push back or away by a force, as one body acting upon another (opposed to attract): The north pole of one magnet will repel the north pole of another.

verb (used without object), re·pelled, re·pel·ling.

  1. to act with a force that drives or keeps away something.
  2. to cause distaste or aversion.

verb -pels, -pelling or -pelled (mainly tr)

  1. to force or drive back (something or somebody, esp an attacker)
  2. (also intr) to produce a feeling of aversion or distaste in (someone or something); be disgusting (to)
  3. to push aside; dismisshe repelled the suggestion as wrong and impossible
  4. to be effective in keeping away, controlling, or resistingan aerosol spray that repels flies
  5. to have no affinity for; fail to mix with or absorbwater and oil repel each other
  6. to disdain to accept (something); turn away from or spurnshe repelled his advances
  7. (also intr) to exert an opposing force on (something)an electric charge repels another charge of the same sign

early 15c., “to drive away, remove,” from Old French repeller or directly from Latin repellere “to drive back,” from re- “back” (see re-) + pellere “to drive, strike” (see pulse (n.1)). Meaning “to affect (a person) with distaste or aversion” is from 1817. Related: Repelled; repelling.

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