from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To rid one's mind of: managed to dispel my doubts.
  • transitive v. To drive away or off by or as if by scattering. See Synonyms at scatter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To drive away by scattering, or to cause to vanish; to clear away; to banish; to dissipate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To drive away by scattering, or so to cause to vanish; to clear away; to banish; to dissipate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To drive off or away; scatter or disperse effectually; dissipate: as, to dispel vapors, darkness, or gloom; to dispel fears, cares, sorrows, doubts, etc.; to dispel a tumor, or humors.
  • Synonyms Disperse, Scatter, etc. (see dissipate), banish, remove.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. to cause to separate and go in different directions
  • v. force to go away; used both with concrete and metaphoric meanings


Middle English dispellen, from Latin dispellere : dis-, apart; see dis- + pellere, to drive; see pel-5 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • "There is this notion, one which I try to dispel, which is that people who hold strong antigay positions are always secretly gay."

    Left Wing: When Gay Bashers Are Gay, Why Do People Just Mock and Turn Away?

  • Nor clearest noon tide can that horrid pain dispel.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • It is astonishing how our prejudices change from youth to middle age, even without any remarkable interposition of fortune; I do not say dissipate, or even dispel, which is much more doubtful -- but they change.

    Phoebe, Junior

  • PETER GELB, GENERAL MANAGER, METROPOLITAN OPERA: In an effort to kind of dispel or break down this image that the Met is some sort of an elitist organization, we have launched a whole bunch of initiatives to connect the Met to a broader public.

    CNN Transcript Dec 19, 2007

  • Obviously now the White House anxious to kind of dispel the notion of any tensions.

    CNN Transcript Oct 28, 2006

  • But I think this goes just a long way to kind of dispel a lot of the accusations at Al Jazeera, that we're a tool of the Iraqi regime.

    CNN Transcript Apr 3, 2003

  • Was he trying to kind of dispel the theory that maybe this was an act of defense on the behalf of Nathaniel Brazill?

    CNN Transcript May 9, 2001

  • Abdallah, one of the holiest of men, whom God hath blessed with supernatural powers, such as dispel doubts and obscurity.

    The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Volume II

  • Rufus: And it's also I think, it's important to kind of dispel the myth that that's where you know being gay is

    Pop Musicology

  • I always took it to be a way to kind of dispel the magic that fun can produce, rewrite the narrative to a simple one where they were in charge.

    Boing Boing


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