- causing repugnance or aversion: a repulsive mask.
- capable of causing repulsion; serving to repulse: to present enough repulsive force to keep the enemy from daring to attack.
- tending to drive away or keep at a distance; cold; forbidding: arrogant, repulsive airs to frighten the timid.
- Physics. of the nature of or characterized by physical repulsion.
- causing or occasioning repugnance; loathsome; disgusting or distastefula repulsive sight
- tending to repel, esp by coldness and discourtesy
- physics concerned with, producing, or being a repulsion
early 15c., “able to repel,” from Middle French repulsif (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin repulsivus, from repuls-, past participle stem of repellere (see repel). The sense of “causing disgust” is first recorded 1816. Related: Repulsively; repulsiveness.