- 1quell something/somebody to stop something such as violent behaviour or protests Extra police were called in to quell the disturbances. (figurative) She started to giggle, but Bob quelled her with a look.
- 2quell something to stop or reduce strong or unpleasant feelings synonym calm to quell your fears Word Origin Old English cwellan ‘kill’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kwellen and German quälen.Extra examples The disturbances were quickly quelled. As the looting intensified, the president vowed to quell the violence by any means necessary. Riot police were needed to quell pitch invasions. The rising was swiftly quelled by loyal troops.
BrE BrE//kwel//; NAmE NAmE//kwel//(formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they quell
BrE BrE//kwel//; NAmE NAmE//kwel//he / she / it quells
BrE BrE//kwelz//; NAmE NAmE//kwelz//past simple quelled
BrE BrE//kweld//; NAmE NAmE//kweld//past participle quelled
BrE BrE//kweld//; NAmE NAmE//kweld//-ing form quelling
BrE BrE//ˈkwelɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈkwelɪŋ//