- 1[transitive] repel somebody/something (formal) to successfully fight somebody 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[transitive] repel something to drive, push or keep something away a cream that repels insects The fabric has been treated to repel water.
- 3[transitive] repel somebody (not used in the progressive tenses) to make somebody feel horror or disgust synonym disgust, repulse I was repelled by the smell. See related entries: Disgust
- 4[transitive, intransitive] repel (something) (specialist) 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 Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin repellere, from re-
BrE BrE//rɪˈpel//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈpel//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they repel
BrE BrE//rɪˈpel//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈpel//he / she / it repels
BrE BrE//rɪˈpelz//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈpelz//past simple repelled
BrE BrE//rɪˈpeld//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈpeld//past participle repelled
BrE BrE//rɪˈpeld//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈpeld//-ing form repelling
BrE BrE//rɪˈpelɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈpelɪŋ//Disgust