Definition of rappel in English:



  • Descend a rock face or other near-vertical surface by using a doubled rope coiled around the body and fixed at a higher point; abseil:

    ‘they had to rappel down a long steep ice face’
    • ‘Here the group assesses the rappel down the waterfall.’
    • ‘Then I set up my rappel and checked everything again.’
    • ‘Rick and Derek rapped down to the ledge, pulled the ropes, set up the next rappel, and started down again.’
    • ‘Team Fred had just finished the rappel at Bridal Veil Falls.’
    • ‘With a nod from an instructor, I began the rappel down the ground floor 210 feet below.’
    • ‘Archie describes the rappel itself as ‘fabulous from beginning to end,’ but he admits to some healthy trepidation.’
    • ‘This classic objective adds multipitch rock climbing and a thrilling 150-foot rappel to your bag of tricks.’
    • ‘Every rappel, every belay, was made off just one anchor.’
    • ‘Despite losing her shoe, Katie Long, 11, rappels down a vertical 50-foot wall.’
    • ‘We started down and did two rappels in the Stettner Couloir.’
    • ‘With suspended walkways and observation platforms high in the treetops, and rappels down some of the biggest, tallest trees in the world, the views are breathtaking.’
    • ‘It was a nice rappel, the redirect caused no problems going down, and there was only light spray near bottom thanks to the redirect and low water levels.’
    • ‘Amy, Matt, and Tom each completed their rappel and two climbs.’
    • ‘During the course troops are trained in advanced communications, Morse code, adjusting both naval gunfire and artillery, forward air control techniques, and helicopter operations, including helicopter rappels.’
    • ‘We'll rope up as needed for belayed climbing and rappels.’
    • ‘If we are descending the Grand Teton and I am setting the anchor for the 120-foot rappel into the Upper Saddle, I have an obligation to form such beliefs as this anchor point is solid only after careful scrutiny and testing.’
    • ‘The really strange thing is that on the way up I had collected the gear that Iron Mike and I had placed for our rappels back in 1993!’
    • ‘Canyoneering starts with a mountain hike followed by a rappel alongside breathtaking waterfalls that drop anywhere from 12 to 120 feet.’
    • ‘Ed managed to get in an anchor, and was able to arrange a rappel back to the ground.’
    • ‘Far off to one side of the great cliff, we were arranging the short rappels back to the ground via the standard East Ledges descent route.’


  • A descent made by rappelling; an abseil:

    ‘they were careful in setting up the rappel’


1930s: from French, literally a recalling, from rappeler in the sense bring back to oneself (with reference to the rope manoeuvre).