Definition of repugnant in English:



  • 1Extremely distasteful; unacceptable.

    ‘cannibalism seems repugnant to us’
    • ‘Perhaps what would be worse than a barrister liking his or her client would be disliking the client, especially when the accused is charged with morally repugnant crimes.’
    • ‘I mean it put forth and quietly supported an ideology that I personally find repugnant, but how does that make it ‘morally irresponsible’.’
    • ‘In his view, that meant accepting the inevitability of some 6 million men and women (today it would be more) failing to find work, a situation that he found morally repugnant.’
    • ‘It argues over the ethics of non-involvement, and scoffs at those who would rationalize the repugnant for the sake of a settled conscience.’
    • ‘Initially, Anna is shocked again by Gregor's repugnant appearance.’
    • ‘About that kind of purism, there is also something slightly repugnant.’
    • ‘The room was covered, the reviewer wrote, ‘with a pale green paper, cold and repugnant to the last degree.’’
    • ‘The thought of having to take the life of another person was repugnant to her, but she acknowledged that if they hadn't acted, they would have been the ones dragged off the side of the road and left for scavengers.’
    • ‘The whole idea of anyone acting as judge, jury and executioner is totally repugnant to a civilized society.’
    • ‘But what's meaningful to one may be repugnant to another.’
    • ‘Also repugnant to Moses was the Egyptian ideology that chose to enslave live men in order to build temples and pyramids to honor dead men.’
    • ‘But as crazy and repugnant as Bukowski's antics could be, Dullaghan devotes more energy to celebrating his work, successfully making the case for him as a major American writer.’
    • ‘Although Joan does things that some might consider repugnant, Linney fashions her alter-ego into a sympathetic human being.’
    • ‘The film treats him as a complicated character, both repugnant (in a grueling scene he confesses his problem to his own young son) and pathetic, but not particularly gay, even in code.’
    • ‘All the countries of the world will hopefully come together to find a way to fight this sort of terrorism, which is repugnant to all reasonable people.’
    • ‘His face was not repugnant, but rather pleasant.’
    • ‘Using terrorism as an excuse to pull information that should be public is detrimental to a democratic society and repugnant to online professionals.’
    • ‘The very idea of cinéma-vérité is repugnant to me.’
    • ‘Mainly because some of what those who don't like the paintings find repugnant is repugnant to me too.’
    • ‘Nothing vile or repugnant happens here, but we do get the feeling that we are witnessing someone's last moments on film as this mangled mess of a movie unravels.’
    abhorrent, revolting, repulsive, repellent, disgusting, offensive, objectionable, vile, foul, nasty, loathsome, sickening, nauseating, nauseous, hateful, detestable, execrable, abominable, monstrous, appalling, reprehensible, deplorable, insufferable, intolerable, unacceptable, despicable, contemptible, beyond the pale, unspeakable, noxious, obscene, base, hideous, grisly, gruesome, horrendous, heinous, atrocious, awful, terrible, dreadful, frightful, obnoxious, unsavoury, unpalatable, unpleasant, disagreeable, distasteful, dislikeable, off-putting, displeasing
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  • 2In conflict or incompatible with.

    ‘a by-law must not be repugnant to the general law of the country’
    • ‘What's repugnant to justice is the attitude that some people should be denied it, no matter what is done to them.’
    • ‘The radio host has been suspended for two weeks following what he himself calls ‘repugnant, repulsive and horrible’ remarks.’
    incompatible with, in conflict with, contrary to, at variance with, contradictory to, inconsistent with, alien to, opposed to
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    1. 2.1archaic Given to stubborn resistance.


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘offering resistance’): from Old French repugnant or Latin repugnant- opposing, from the verb repugnare (see repugnance).