Definition of quell in English:



[with object]
  • 1Put an end to (a rebellion or other disorder), typically by the use of force.

    ‘extra police were called to quell the disturbance’
    • ‘He conquered the Sudan and quelled a rebellion in Greece.’
    • ‘Conductors were popular, and deservedly so, because they assisted elderly people, sorted out fares and quelled bad behaviour.’
    • ‘The idea of quelling the legitimate resistance of an occupied people by the application of massive, gratuitous violence and murder, is not peculiar to Japan.’
    • ‘But, just as Edward Longshanks failed to quell the rebellion that led to Scottish independence, William Wallace's legacy lives on.’
    • ‘His murder is the latest in a series of high-profile killings of left activists which human rights advocates say is part of a military-backed campaign aimed at silencing government critics and quelling dissent.’
    • ‘The key early win was getting an interim city council elected on May 5, only two weeks after forces arrived to begin quelling widespread disorder.’
    • ‘Policemen and commandos are deployed to quell riots and to maintain law and order.’
    • ‘To unite the country and strengthen the stability of the border, Emperor Qian Long assembled large numbers of troops in Danba to quell the rebellion.’
    • ‘Initially as surprised as everyone else, the Mexican army soon recovered and violently quelled the rebellion.’
    • ‘He disposed of his rival claimants, and quelled various rebellions that the succession crisis had spawned.’
    • ‘The incident, in which a chalet-style caravan was attacked at Rectory Lane last Tuesday night, has led senior officers to reassure residents they have been working to quell the disorder.’
    • ‘These are all places where Western armies had to quell disorder.’
    • ‘Members of the 800th Military Police Brigade had to use lethal force several times to quell prisoner uprisings, the report says.’
    • ‘He spent five years quelling rebellions and establishing Norman authority, building many castles and stocking them with men brought from Normandy.’
    • ‘Police and soldiers were sent to Yelwa to quell the violence and the town has been reported calm since Friday.’
    • ‘Human-rights groups slam the government for continuing to use these emergency powers, which were originally promulgated to quell ethnic unrest and deal with terrorism many years ago.’
    • ‘In his place they sent Colonel Lachlan Macquarie who arrived in 1810 with a regiment to quell the rebellion.’
    • ‘Existing ‘loyalist’ forces were unable to quell the rebellion and reinforcements had to be called from China.’
    • ‘The new party general secretary will no doubt be expected to play a role in quelling the ongoing unrest among hill tribes.’
    • ‘Military experts said last night that regular soldiers - let alone elite assault troops - had never before been used to quell disorder in the United States.’
    • ‘The military government pledged to quell rebellion and unify the country by force.’
    put an end to, stamp out, put a stop to, end, finish, get rid of, crush, put down, check, crack down on, curb, nip in the bud, thwart, frustrate, squash, quash, subdue, suppress, repress, quench, extinguish, stifle, abolish, terminate, beat, overcome, defeat, rout, destroy, demolish, annihilate, wipe out, extirpate
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    1. 1.1 Subdue or silence (someone)
      ‘Connor quelled him with a look’
      • ‘For a while it seemed that the government had quelled radical groups, but this has only lulled us into a sense of false security.’
      • ‘Two of the top generals commanding the operation were replaced, although Moscow insisted they had been elevated to other duties and not punished for failing to quell the rebels.’
      • ‘Those in yellow and white candy-stripes threatened to be sweet meat for the Leith club as they found themselves being dragged every which way as they sought to quell opponents brimming with attacking invention.’
      • ‘He quelled her with a stern glance before turning back to the judges.’
      • ‘She would not be calmed, she would not be quelled, she would not be made to silence and rest.’
      • ‘Whenever you beheld me, your eyes imprinted all their graces there, mastered and quelled me; and my eyes earned their share: to worship all in you that sight laid bare.’
      • ‘Sources said police used hundreds of tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and opened fire to quell the strikers, leaving seven people dead.’
      • ‘That proved to be enough to quell the upstarts, and Teague appeared to be settling a personal score when he raced over three more times in the second half.’
      • ‘The ambitious German, then 25, went on to finish as world champion that year; then again the next season, as inadequate opponents were quelled ruthlessly, one after the other.’
      • ‘Before the match there was trouble in a little square outside the ground as riot police with batons waded in to quell troublemakers attached to both clubs.’
      • ‘He quelled James McFadden with his hardy yet wholesome intercessions.’
      • ‘So the wait prolongs before Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts School of Magic finally quell Lord Voldemort, the evil and powerful Wizard.’
      • ‘Beatrice places a hand on his chest, and it instantly and completely quells him.’
      • ‘After quelling the crowd somewhat, he and Mr. Timberlake gave each other a high-five.’
      • ‘Verbena quelled him in mid-grumble with a patient, long-suffering gaze, like a mother enduring a weary child's temper tantrum.’
      • ‘In 1 Henry IV he is commended by Prince Harry after Shrewsbury, and sent with Westmorland to quell the northern rebels.’
      • ‘Police forced people on the 500 block to the sidewalks several times in attempt to shrink and quell the crowd.’
      • ‘He said his office would continue in its efforts to save the peace pact, despite the looming operation to quell the rebels.’
      • ‘We must remember that the prime motive for Housmann's boulevards and circuses was to ensure that a strategically placed cannon could fire down many streets, quelling the citizens who were periodically disposed to revolution.’
    2. 1.2 Suppress (a feeling)
      ‘she quelled an urge to race up the stairs’
      • ‘It's totally possible for you to hook up with someone who inspires no desire and no passion, but quells your fear of being alone.’
      • ‘Private security patrols could be deployed in the borough for the first time to quell fears of crime among residents near Wandsworth Common.’
      • ‘It seems that nothing in this world is able to quell David Hempleman-Adams' thirst for adventure and this year has been no exception.’
      • ‘You'll be amazed at how much difference sunlight makes to quelling those anxious feelings.’
      • ‘Throughout the poem, the mother constantly attempts to quell and quiet Jim's desire, reading that desire as potentially self-destructive.’
      • ‘Though this combo is just as passionate as their fellow Sagittarians, the Virgo Moon affects the inner nature enough to quell some of the more rash aspects of the Sagittarius personality.’
      • ‘The cooler temperatures of the last week should have quelled the amorous residents' ardour and after their recent exertions they should have quite an appetite.’
      • ‘I get the impression that some in the broadcast media are more interested in spreading gloom to garner ratings than quelling people's uneasiness, or giving solid facts.’
      • ‘I tried to stifle the thoughts, tried to quell the overwhelming feeling of being trapped in circumstances.’
      • ‘Partly, it may be a desire to quell emotions in front of strangers.’
      • ‘We use it to comfort ourselves, quell anxiety and fear, and numb those feelings of self-doubt.’
      • ‘It tempers temper, quells hatred and dissolves fear, bringing a deeper sense of dominion and happiness to our lives.’
      • ‘The more the sisters seem to confess to one another, the less they seem to say, and the way that so many of the longings in the film are quieted without being fully quelled is part of its haunting and unnerving beauty.’
      • ‘An only child, with parents who wanted what was best for her, she couldn't quell the feeling she was different from her peers.’
      • ‘Many householders fear their insurance premiums could rise but the Association of British Insurers is trying to quell homeowners' worries.’
      • ‘Carrots clear out excess cholesterol from the system, while ginger is wonderful at calming the digestive tract, helping to quell the feelings of nausea that some people experience when detoxing.’
      • ‘It produces a feeling of fullness and quells the desire to eat.’
      • ‘Donnan felt his anger rise and immediately quelled it.’
      • ‘Breathing in the uncomfortable silence I tried to quell the unease, without much success I might add.’
      • ‘There are no words, no internal dialogue that can quell my feeling of betrayal.’
      calm, soothe, pacify, settle, quieten, quiet, put at rest, lull, silence, put behind one, rise above, allay, appease, stay, assuage, abate, deaden, dull, tranquillize, mitigate, moderate, palliate
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Old English cwellan ‘kill’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kwellen and German quälen.