To repulse something is to repel it or drive it back. When you repulse your sister, you disgust her. When you repulse the enemy in battle or someone in conversation, you force them back or make them turn away.

Repulse is related to the word repel, and they mean similar things: to repulse an advance — romantic or warring — is to repel, or fend off, its advance. To repulse someone by being disgusting is to be repellent. You could repulse a person's attempts at conversation if you repulse him by picking your nose. Repulse is now most frequently used in the gross-out sense, but Jane Austin often had her characters repulse each others’ attempts at conversation or civility.

Primary Meanings of repulse

force or drive back
an instance of driving away or warding off
be repellent to; cause aversion in
Full Definitions of repulse

v force or drive back

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

v cause to move back by force or influence

beat back, drive, force back, push back, repel
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"

n an instance of driving away or warding off

rebuff, snub
Type of:
the speech act of rejecting

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

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