American English

Definition of repel verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they repel
    he / she / it repels
    past simple repelled
    -ing form repelling
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  1. 1[transitive] repel somebody/something (formal) to successfully fight someone who is attacking you, your country, etc. and drive them away to repel an attack/invasion/invader Troops repelled an attempt to infiltrate the south of the island. (figurative) The reptile's prickly skin repels nearly all of its predators.
  2. 2[transitive] repel something to drive, push, or keep something away a spray that repels insects The fabric has been treated to repel water.
  3. 3[transitive] repel somebody (not used in the progressive tenses) to make someone feel horror or disgust synonym disgust, repulse I was repelled by the smell.
  4. 4[transitive, intransitive] repel (something) (technology) if one thing repels another, or if two things repel each other, an electrical or magnetic force pushes them apart Like poles repel each other. opposite attract see also repulsion, repulsive
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: repel