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From Latin repugnatorius


repugnatorial (comparative more repugnatorial, superlative most repugnatorial)

  1. defensive or repulsive, particularly as applied to glands of certain invertebrates, with which they produce poisonous or repugnant secretions when under threat.
    The caterpillars of swallowtail butterflies have a forked osmeterium, from which they produce a smelly, repugnatorial liquid if you grab them.
    • 1909, Alpheus S. Packard , A Text-Book of Entomology , Macmillan, pages 372-373
      Certain beetles are endowed with eversible repugnatorial glands. Eleodes gigantea ... of both sexes ... when teased ... stand on their anterior and middle legs, holding the abdomen high up and spurting the contents of the glands right and left ... The liquid stains the human skin, has ... a peculiar, intensely penetrant odor, causing the eye to lachrymate.

Usage notes[edit]

Almost the only natural usage is among zoologists as a technical term in describing particular classes of glands and their defensive secretions, as produced by animals such as certain insects. However, secretions of other animals such as skunks and some marine invertebrates also are described as repugnatorial.