Use the verb repel when you want to turn something away. You might drench yourself in bug spray to repel the mosquitoes that plague you when you go camping.

This versatile word can be used in relation to everything from bugs to unwanted romantic advances. The word repel can be used to describe the act of driving something away, as in the case of bugs or other pesky critters, including potential suitors. It can also be used to describe something that causes disgust or distaste. For example, the thought of eating snails might repel you.

Definitions of repel

v force or drive back

repel the attacker”
drive back, fight off, rebuff, repulse
Type of:
defend, fight, fight back, fight down, oppose
fight against or resist strongly

v cause to move back by force or influence

repel the enemy”
beat back, drive, force back, push back, repulse
cause to move rapidly by striking or throwing with force
attract, draw, draw in, pull, pull in
direct toward itself or oneself by means of some psychological power or physical attributes
draw in, retract
pull inward or towards a center
curl, curl up, draw in
shape one's body into a curl
show more antonyms...
Type of:
force, push
move with force, "He pushed the table into a corner"

v be repellent to; cause aversion in

appeal, attract
be attractive to
churn up, disgust, nauseate, revolt, sicken
cause aversion in; offend the moral sense of
put off, turn off
cause to feel intense dislike or distaste
appal, appall, offend, outrage, scandalise, scandalize, shock
strike with disgust or revulsion
Type of:
give displeasure to

v fill with distaste

disgust, gross out, revolt
nauseate, sicken, turn one's stomach
upset and make nauseated
Type of:
excite, stimulate, stir
stir feelings in

v reject outright and bluntly

rebuff, snub
Type of:
disdain, freeze off, pooh-pooh, reject, scorn, spurn, turn down
reject with contempt

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