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Definition to drive away (get rid of) — especially a feeling or idea

Dispel is generally used to in reference to getting rid of ideas or feelings, but more rarely, it can be used to reference the scattering away of something physical as in:  "The noise dispelled the pigeons."
  • trying to dispel common myths about dieting
  • This should dispel any doubts.
  • The press secretary trying to dispel rumors about the incident.
  • many a stroll, and many a sigh, were necessary to dispel the agitation of the idea.
    Jane Austen  --  Persuasion
  • I thought, if I had caused the cloud, it was my duty to make an effort to dispel it.
    Bronte, Emily  --  Wuthering Heights
  • She tried to think of something to say, something to dispel the seriousness which she felt to be in the atmosphere, but words failed her.
    Oppenheim, E. Phillips  --  The Kingdom of the Blind
  • But the lovely aromas in that enchanted air did at last seem to dispel, for a moment, the cankerous thing in his soul.
    Melville, Herman  --  Moby Dick LXVIII-CXXXIV
  • It was dim inside, with a damp coolness slowly dispelled by the gathering congregation.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • dispelled = driven away
  • Earth brightens when you dawn in lightland,
    When you shine as Aten of daytime;
    As you dispel the dark,
    As you cast your rays,
    Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV)  --  The Great Hymn to the Aten
  • dispel = drive away (get rid of)
  • WILLY [as though to dispel his confusion he angrily stops CHARLEY'S hand]:
    Arthur Miller  --  Death of a Salesman
  • dispel = to drive away (get rid of)
  • There were few women and children among them, which seemed to dispel the holiday mood.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • dispel = drive away
  • The remainder of the afternoon went by in the gentle gloom that descends when relatives appear, but was dispelled when we heard a car turn in the driveway.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • dispelled = driven away
  • In long equity hearings, especially after dinner, he gave the impression of dozing, an impression dispelled forever when a lawyer once deliberately pushed a pile of books to the floor in a desperate effort to wake him up.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • dispelled = driven away
  • I hate to dispel the myth of a great lady's incontestable perceptions, but she's wrong.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • Perhaps, as he approached his death, he had a troubling sense that he'd be remembered as a fiend and wished to dispel that notion.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • But all such doubts were now dispelled.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • Mrs. Shelby was seated in her comfortable parlor, where a cheerful hickory fire was dispelling the chill of the late autumn evening.
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • While I shook my head to dispel the direction my thoughts had taken, I thought of something else.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Twilight
  • The darkness around him dispelled completely, leaving nothing to protect him except h Ls battered armor.
    Rick Riordan  --  The House of Hades
  • Courage, the universal virtue, is comprehended by us all—but these portraits of courage do not dispel the mysteries of politics.
    John F. Kennedy  --  Profiles in Courage

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