To dispel is to get rid of something that's bothering or threatening you, regardless of whether that's warts, worries, or wild dogs.

The nifty thing about dispel is that you can use it when talking about emotional problems (such as worries and fears) as well as physical ones (such as wild dogs). Note, however, that when dispel is used in reference to physical foes, it often has the added meaning of scattering your opponents in all directions. So, while you can dispel a pack of wild dogs, you should just chase off or drive away a lone wolf. Good luck with that, by the way.

Definitions of dispel

v to cause to separate and go in different directions

break up, disperse, dissipate, scatter
cause to break up or cease to function
Type of:
divide, separate
make a division or separation

v force to go away; used both with concrete and metaphoric meanings

dispel doubts”
chase away, drive away, drive off, drive out, run off, turn back
drive out, force out, rouse, rout out
force or drive out
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
drive out by frightening
drive out or away by or as if by fire
clear the air
dispel differences or negative emotions
drive away
shoo, shoo away, shoo off
drive away by crying `shoo!'
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.