Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



repugnant +‎ -cy



repugnancy (countable and uncountable, plural repugnancies)

  1. The quality of being repugnant: offensiveness, repulsion.
    • 1644, Samuel Rutherford, Lex, Rex, London: John Field, Quest. VIII, p. 49,[1]
      [] howsoever nature dictates, that government is necessary for the safety of the society, yet every singular person, by corruption and selfe-love, hath a naturall aversenesse and repugnancie to submit to any; every man would be a King himselfe []
    • 1673, Hannah Woolley, The Gentlewomans Companion, London: Dorman Newman, “Some choice Observations for a Gentlewomans Behaviour at Table,” p. 70,[2]
      If you be carved with any thing [] which you do not like, conceal (as much as in you lieth) your repugnancies, and receive it however: And though your disgust many times is invincible, and it would be insufferable tyranny to require you should eat what your stomach nauseates; yet it will shew your civility to accept it, though you let it lye on your plate, pretending to eat, till you meet with a fit opportunity of changing your plate, without any palpable discovery of your disgust.
    • 1893, Mordecai Cubitt Cooke, Our Reptiles and Batrachians, London: W.H. Allen, “The Common Toad,” p. 118,[3]
      Even Pennant, with all his repugnancy to the toad, could not be induced to favour the popular belief in its poisonous character.
  2. The quality of being repugnant: (logical) opposition, contradiction, incompatibility.
    • 1559, William Cuningham, The Cosmographical Glasse, Book 2,[4]
      For if the paralleles be of this nature, that howe muche the nearer we are th’equinoctiall, so muche the greater is the heate: and howe muche the furder remoued from th’equinoctiall, so muche the colder the qualitie of the aire is: there must seme a manifest repugnancie, betwixt Auicenne, & the Geographers.
    • 1710, George Berkeley, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Part I, Dublin: Jeremy Pepyat, pp. 175-176,[5]
      [] this Notion is the Source from whence do spring, all those Amusing Geometrical Paradoxes, which have such a direct Repugnancy to the plain, common Sense of Mankind, and are admitted with so much Reluctance, into a Mind not yet debauched by Learning []
    • 1773, William Hazlitt, An Essay on the Justice of God, London: J. Johnson, p. 16,[6]
      The first man, Adam, experienced no kind of repugnancy between the divine justice and the divine mercy.
  3. (archaic) Resistance, fighting back.
    • c. 1607, William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Act III, Scene 5,[7]
      Why do fond men expose themselves to battle,
      And not endure all threats? sleep upon’t,
      And let the foes quietly cut their throats,
      Without repugnancy?

See also[edit]