Definition of repulse in English:



  • 1Drive back (an attack or attacker) by force.

    ‘rioters tried to storm the Ministry but were repulsed by police’
    • ‘The festival to the Lady of the Realm, so the accounts go, was inaugurated after she extended her protection to a Vietnamese general who was repulsing an attack by the Cambodian enemy.’
    • ‘The muddy ground delayed them and gave the French gunners time to rally and repulse the first attack.’
    • ‘Finally the firing dwindled; the charge had been repulsed.’
    • ‘Sent to pacify Ionia, after several Ionian repulses, he dared not return to Susa and so departed for his Thracian project.’
    • ‘The next day the Greeks have a pop at Troy itself but the mighty Trojan army repulses them (Achilles not fighting in this one).’
    • ‘It was due to the fact that the disastrous Dieppe Raid of 1942 had led the Wehrmacht's 302nd Infantry Division, which had repulsed the attack, to draw up a how-not-to manual of coastal landings.’
    • ‘He assisted General Yigael Yadin in repulsing the attacks on Israel and the attacks by the Arab nations getting desired results.’
    • ‘This iron Phalanx repulses the wave of Trojan attackers.’
    • ‘They fight into the waning sun until the enemy is repulsed.’
    • ‘Even as the British army repulses the French at almost every turn, the British navy's task seems harder since it is short of men.’
    • ‘After repulsing an attempted invasion by Italian forces in 1940, Greece was occupied by the Germans in World War II, and the country suffered bitter fighting between rival factions of communists and royalists.’
    • ‘After repulsing Italy, the Austrians then sent reinforcements to the north, which is where Wawro then takes his book.’
    • ‘Against all odds, they succeeded first in repulsing the original attack and then in holding the enemy at bay for almost two weeks while being besieged without re-supply.’
    repel, drive back, drive away, fight back, fight off, put to flight, force back, beat off, beat back, push back, thrust back
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    1. 1.1Reject or rebuff (an approach or offer or the person making it)
      ‘she left, feeling hurt because she had been repulsed’
      • ‘Lotus had been repulsed when the poor fool approached her to grab her colorful robe.’
      • ‘Penniless and without protection, Pamela is pursued by Mr B., Lady B.'s son, but she repulses him and remains determined to retain her chastity and her unsullied conscience.’
      • ‘Olumer stifled a groan and wondered how he had managed to attract her attention instead of repulsing her, which had been the general idea.’
      • ‘She just wants me to humiliate myself by repulsing Charlie.’
      rebuff, reject, spurn, snub, disdain, give someone the cold shoulder, cold-shoulder
      reject, turn down, refuse, decline, say no to
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  • 2Cause to feel intense distaste and aversion.

    ‘audiences were repulsed by the film's brutality’
    • ‘Indeed, Catherine is repulsed by David's African stories, and her hysterical outburst against them is imbued with racist assumptions.’
    • ‘Meursault is repulsed by Raymond's scruffy appearance.’
    • ‘The party leader, Trevor Sargent, told a Young Greens conference in Galway that ‘even the most enthusiastic of young voters’ had been repulsed by the sleaze exposed at the tribunals.’
    • ‘In the end, it's the old contradictory chestnut of being both repulsed and attracted simultaneously that keeps you hooked.’
    • ‘People are repulsed at the idea of limiting the amount of children someone can have, despite the fact that our schools, health care, and planet itself simply cannot support us.’
    • ‘Our analysis confirmed that many 1932 moviegoers were repulsed by the film, but whether that translated to even more negative attitudes toward people with disabilities is unclear.’
    • ‘Bound feet: Wang Lung is disappointed and repulsed when he realizes that O-lan's feet are not bound.’
    • ‘She was not flattered by Mr. Elton's confession, only repulsed at this inferior man daring to address the fine Miss Woodhouse in such a manner.’
    • ‘One is the audience of people who are obviously repulsed by these sort of images and people meant to be scared by it and that's the reason they're putting this tape up.’
    • ‘These films regale as they repulse, hitting the gag reflex and the funny bone simultaneously.’
    • ‘Giamatti doesn't want any part of the carousing, mostly because he thinks it will lead to more rejection, but he pretends he's morally repulsed.’
    • ‘Barry is repulsed by Tosser's Little Englander mentality, but beggars can't be choosers, and he knows that unless he can raise some cash quick the bailiff will be moving in on him, his business and his unsuspecting wife.’
    • ‘Many Americans are instinctively repulsed by the idea.’
    • ‘For a while, however, most Americans seemed repulsed by what their country had become during the war, and refused to have anything to do with Wilson's messianic world agenda.’
    • ‘And a number of the stories couple difficult content with a very lyrical style which, I think, makes a reader feel pulled between being repulsed by the text and attracted to it.’
    • ‘I'm sure Straw Dogs is rather unpopular with the feminist community, and I find myself repulsed by the film for the same reason.’
    • ‘Sue is hard and resilient and, though she is the film's embodiment of civilization in much the way Grace Kelly is High Noon's, she's neither frightened nor morally repulsed when violence erupts.’
    • ‘The thought of even being seen with you repulses me.’
    • ‘When Enid meets Seymour, she's at first repulsed, but then curious - here is a guy who is, as she states, ‘the exact opposite of everything I hate.’’
    • ‘Even the thought of killing didn't repulse me the way it used to, although I still refrained from that particular method of retrieving my money.’
    revolt, disgust, repel, sicken, nauseate, make someone feel sick, turn someone's stomach, be repulsive to, be extremely distasteful to, make shudder, be repugnant to, make someone's flesh creep, make someone's skin crawl, make someone's gorge rise, offend, horrify
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  • 1[mass noun] The action of driving back an attack or of being driven back.

    ‘the repulse of the invaders’
    repelling, driving back, putting to flight
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    1. 1.1[count noun]A discouraging response to an offer or approach.
      ‘his evasion of her scheme had been another repulse’
      rebuff, rejection, snub, slight, repudiation, spurning, cold-shouldering, discouragement
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Late Middle English: from Latin repuls- driven back, from the verb repellere (see repel).