August 12, 2013
repel (verb)
\rih-PEL\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 a : to drive back b : to fight against : resist2 : to refuse to accept : reject3 a : to be incapable of sticking to, mixing with, taking up, or holding b : to force away or apart or tend to do so by mutual action at a distance4 : disgust
How do you use it?
Chives, an herb with purple flowers and leaves which are used as a seasoning, is known to repel aphids and it may even deter squirrels, so it's a good choice for planting in the garden.
Are you a word wiz?

"Repel" comes from a word family that traces back to the Latin verb "pellere." Which of these words do you think is another member of this word family?

We hope you were propelled to choose C! Today's Buzzword "repel" comes from "repellen," a Middle English verb that traces through Middle French back to the Latin "repeller." "Repeller" is made up of the prefix "re-" meaning "back," and "pellere" meaning "to drive." Something that repels drives you back or away. The connection is even clearer in "propel," which means "to push or drive usually forward or onward," from the combination of "pellere" with "pro-" meaning "forward." Another member of this family is "compel," which essentially means "to force," another way of saying to drive someone to do something.
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