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repulsive

If something's repulsive, it's so disgusting you don't want to go near it. You may find rotting meat repulsive, but maggots find it delicious.

In the early 17th century, the word repulsive simply meant something that repelled or "pushed away." For example, the like poles of two magnets are repulsive to each other, pushing each other away. Today, repulsive usually means disturbing and sickening. As manners guru Amy Vanderbilt said, "Do not speak of repulsive matters at the table."

Definitions of repulsive
  1. adjective
    offensive to the mind
    repulsive behavior”
    “the most repulsive character in recent novels”
    synonyms: abhorrent, detestable, obscene, repugnant
    offensive
    unpleasant or disgusting especially to the senses
  2. adjective
    so extremely ugly as to be terrifying
    “a repulsive mask”
    synonyms: hideous
    ugly
    displeasing to the senses
  3. adjective
    possessing the ability to repel
    “a repulsive force”
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    Antonyms:
    attractive
    having the properties of a magnet; the ability to draw or pull
Word Family
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