repel

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English repellen, from Old French * repeller, from Latin repellere (to drive back), from re- (back) + pellere (to drive).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

repel (third-person singular simple present repels, present participle repelling, simple past and past participle repelled)

  1. (now rare) To turn (someone) away from a privilege, right, job, etc. [from 15th c.]
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, II.3.7:
      It is some satisfaction to him that is repelled, that dignities, honours, offices, are not alwayes given by desert or worth, but for love, affinitie, friendship, affection, great mens letters, or as commonly they are bought and sold.
  2. To reject, put off (a request, demand etc.). [from 15th c.]
  3. To ward off (a malignant influence, attack etc.). [from 15th c.]
  4. To drive back (an assailant, advancing force etc.). [from 15th c.]
    • 2011, Ian Traynor, The Guardian, 19 May 2011:
      In nearby Zintan, rebels repelled an advance by Gaddafi's forces, killing eight and taking one prisoner, a local activist said.
  5. (physics) To force away by means of a repulsive force. [from 17th c.]
  6. To cause repulsion, cause dislike. [from 18th c.]
    • 2008, The Guardian, 26 Jan 2008:
      However, while the idea of a free holiday appeals enormously, I am frankly repelled by the idea of spending a couple of weeks in your company.
  7. (transitive, sports) To save (a shot).
    • 2011 December 10, David Ornstein, “Arsenal 1-0 Everton”, BBC Sport:
      Arsenal pressed forward again after half-time but other than a venomous Walcott shot that Howard repelled with a fine one-handed save, the hosts offered little cutting edge.

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