Definition of repulse in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈpəls/


[with object]
1Drive back (an attack or attacking enemy) by force: rioters tried to storm ministry buildings but were repulsed by police
More example sentences
  • It was due to the fact that the disastrous Dieppe Raid of 1942 had led the Wehrmacht's 302nd Infantry Division, which had repulsed the attack, to draw up a how-not-to manual of coastal landings.
  • Against all odds, they succeeded first in repulsing the original attack and then in holding the enemy at bay for almost two weeks while being besieged without re-supply.
  • The festival to the Lady of the Realm, so the accounts go, was inaugurated after she extended her protection to a Vietnamese general who was repulsing an attack by the Cambodian enemy.
repel, drive back/away, fight back/off, put to flight, force back, beat off/back;
ward off, hold off
archaic rebut
1.1Fail to welcome (friendly advances or the person making them); rebuff: she left, feeling hurt because she had been repulsed
More example sentences
  • Lotus had been repulsed when the poor fool approached her to grab her colorful robe.
  • She just wants me to humiliate myself by repulsing Charlie.
  • Olumer stifled a groan and wondered how he had managed to attract her attention instead of repulsing her, which had been the general idea.
rebuff, reject, spurn, snub, cold-shoulder
informal give someone the brush-off, freeze out, give someone the bum's rush
reject, turn down, refuse, decline
1.2Refuse to accept (an offer): his bid for the company was repulsed
2 (usually be repulsed) Cause (someone) to feel intense distaste and aversion: audiences at early screenings of the film were repulsed by its brutality
More example sentences
  • Our analysis confirmed that many 1932 moviegoers were repulsed by the film, but whether that translated to even more negative attitudes toward people with disabilities is unclear.
  • One is the audience of people who are obviously repulsed by these sort of images and people meant to be scared by it and that's the reason they're putting this tape up.
  • I'm sure Straw Dogs is rather unpopular with the feminist community, and I find myself repulsed by the film for the same reason.
revolt, disgust, repel, sicken, nauseate, turn someone's stomach, be repugnant to
informal turn off, gross out


1The action of driving back an attacking force or of being driven back: the repulse of the invaders
repelling, driving back;
warding off, holding off
1.1A discouraging response to friendly advances: his evasion of her plan had been another repulse
rebuff, rejection, snub, slight
informal brush-off


Late Middle English: from Latin repuls- 'driven back', from the verb repellere (see repel).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·pulse

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