verb (used with object), re·pulsed, re·puls·ing.

  1. to drive back; repel: to repulse an assailant.
  2. to repel with denial, discourtesy, or the like; refuse or reject.
  3. to cause feelings of repulsion in: The scenes of violence in the film may repulse some viewers.


  1. the act of repelling.
  2. the fact of being repelled, as in hostile encounter.
  3. a refusal or rejection.

verb (tr)

  1. to drive back or ward off (an attacking force); repel; rebuff
  2. to reject with coldness or discourtesyshe repulsed his advances
  3. to produce a feeling of aversion or distaste


  1. the act or an instance of driving back or warding off; rebuff
  2. a cold discourteous rejection or refusal

early 15c., from Latin repulsus, past participle of repellere “drive back, reject” (see repel). Related: Repulsed; repulsing.


1530s, from Latin repulsa “refusal, denial,” noun use of fem. past participle of repellere (see repel).

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