- 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[transitive] repel something to drive, push, or keep something away a spray that repels insects The fabric has been treated to repel water.
- 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[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
NAmE//rɪˈpɛl//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they repel
he / she / it repels
past simple repelled
-ing form repelling