Definition of repellent in English:


Line breaks: re¦pel|lent
Pronunciation: /rɪˈpɛl(ə)nt
(also repellant)


  • 1 [often in combination] Able to repel a particular thing; impervious to a particular substance: water-repellent nylon
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    • ‘This new repellent chemistry affords flexibility and choice for protection against a variety of disease vectors,’ says Klun.
    • Avoid using electronic repellent devices, mothballs or other unregistered products.
    • The repellent agent cannot gain anything from the washing materials agent.
    impermeable, impervious, resistant; -proof
    rare imperviable


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  • 1A substance that dissuades particular insects or other pests from approaching or settling: a flea repellent
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    • The fruits make good outdoor Christmas ornaments or could be used as insect pest repellents in the winter.
    • His work grew from earlier research by scientists in Beltsville, Maryland, who discovered a family of natural sugar esters that act as repellents to insects.
    • But prevention is better than cure, and insect repellents and sprays are the first step in self-protection.
  • 2A substance used to treat something, especially fabric or stone, so as to make it impervious to water: treat brick with a silicone water repellent
    More example sentences
    • Mosquito bites may be avoided by removing stagnant sources of water or by using protective clothing, repellants, larvicides, and, in cases of epidemics, insecticides.



More example sentences
  • Although the selective agent is unknown, the adaptive evolution of this gene may have resulted in increased effectiveness of pollinator attraction or herbivore repellence.
  • If the relationship is not neutral, it is one of repellence rather than attraction-and that is the dark side of the ‘soft power’ coin.
  • Linen will also be mixed with wool to create new performance fabrics of a high calibre with improved touch, softer hand and added water repellence.


More example sentences
  • After having carefully removed the forest floor above the mineral soil, the 5 m area selected was divided into 5 x 5 cm squares to measure the spatial variability of microtopography and superficial water repellency.
  • The research group found that using a dryer sheet instead of a liquid fabric softener provides a compromise where color is better maintained and stain repellency is only slightly reduced.
  • Human and animal tests have yet to be conducted, but the researchers believe their results are directly relevant to repellency on items such as clothing and tents.


More example sentences
  • Now the appalling tragedy in the southern states is being repellently exploited to serve that very same scientifically unsound preconceived agenda.
  • To those on the left, right-wing blogs can seem repellently dull because they do tend to agree with each other a lot.
  • Grainy and pockmarked, their textures are as repellently suggestive as they are visually riveting.


mid 17th century: from Latin repellent- 'driving back', from the verb repellere (see repel).

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