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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce repellent (audio)

Dictionary definition of repellent

Having the ability to repel or drive away.
"The repellent odor of the garbage made me gag as I walked past the alley."

Detailed meaning of repellent

It denotes a quality or characteristic that is intended to keep someone or something at a distance or prevent them from approaching. When used to describe substances or products, it often refers to their ability to repulse or deter pests, insects, or unwanted creatures. For example, insect repellent is designed to discourage insects from landing or biting. Additionally, "repellent" can be used to describe attitudes, behaviors, or qualities that cause strong aversion or disgust in others, making them want to stay away. It implies a powerful deterrent effect, whether it be physical, emotional, or psychological. Overall, "repellent" signifies a quality or property that actively discourages or repulses others, serving as a barrier or deterrent to their presence or interaction.

Example sentences containing repellent

1. Her repellent attitude made it hard to forge close friendships with her peers.
2. The repellent odor coming from the fridge made everyone avoid the kitchen.
3. He wore a repellent spray to ward off mosquitoes during the evening walk.
4. The cat found the repellent smell of citrus unbearable and kept away.
5. His repellent remarks at the meeting left a negative impression on all.
6. They painted the fence with a repellent to deter pesky rodents and insects.

History and etymology of repellent

The adjective 'repellent' shares its etymological roots with the term 'repellant.' It also derives from the Latin word 'repellere,' where 're' signifies 'back,' and 'pellere' means 'to drive' or 'to push.' Thus, 'repellere' conveyed the notion of driving back or pushing away. As it transitioned into English, it became 'repellent,' describing something that possesses the inherent quality of repelling or driving away. This etymology underscores the concept of resistance and the capacity of certain substances or qualities to discourage or ward off unwanted elements or influences, mirroring the modern usage of 'repellent' to describe things that deter or repulse.

Quiz: Find the meaning of repellent

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Further usage examples of repellent

1. Her repellent demeanor kept colleagues at bay, isolating her at the office.
2. The repellent film on the water's surface kept the insects from landing.
3. A repellent force seemed to emanate from the old, haunted-looking house.
4. The repellent taste of the medicine made the child refuse to take it again.
5. A repellent barrier was set up to prevent wildlife from entering the camp.
6. The garden had repellent plants to naturally keep pests and bugs away.
7. The repellent glare in his eyes was a clear sign to stay away from him.
8. Certain fabrics have repellent qualities, making them ideal for outdoor wear.
9. His voice had a repellent tone, making listeners uncomfortable and uneasy.
10. The repellent energy of the haunted house kept curious visitors at a distance.
11. Mom used repellent chemicals to ensure ants didn't invade our picnic spot.
12. The artist’s repellent work is both criticized and celebrated globally.
13. With a repellent personality, making friends was always a challenge for him.
14. Repellent devices were installed to drive birds away from the airport runway.
15. The new insect repellent I bought works wonders against mosquitoes during camping trips.
16. She found his arrogance and rude comments absolutely repellent and decided to avoid him.
17. The repellent coating on my shoes helps keep them dry even on rainy days.
18. The artist intended for the sculpture to be repellent, evoking strong emotions from the viewers.
19. My aunt gave me a repellent-tasting medicine when I was sick, but it did help me recover faster.
20. The repellent nature of the magnet’s similar poles prevented them from sticking together.
21. His repellent table manners made it very hard to enjoy dinner in his company.
22. The repellent film on the car's windshield helps keep water and dirt from obstructing the view.
23. The repellent design of the building clashed with the charming aesthetic of the old neighborhood.
24. The repellent attitude of the shopkeeper drove many customers to shop elsewhere.
25. It's advisable to use a water-repellent spray on outdoor furniture to protect it from the elements.


deterrent, attractive, inviting, alluring


SAT 16 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Ecological Diversity and Sustainability, Protection and Avoidance

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