[ra-pel, ruh-] /ræˈpɛl, rə-/

(in mountaineering) the act or method of moving down a steep incline or past an overhang by means of a double rope secured above and placed around the body, usually under the left thigh and over the right shoulder, and paid out gradually in the descent.
verb (used without object), rappelled, rappelling.
to descend by means of a rappel.
verb -pels, -pelling, -pelled
another word (esp US) for abseil
another word (esp US) for abseil
(formerly) a drumbeat to call soldiers to arms

1931, “mountaineering technique for descending steep faces,” from French rappel, literally “recall” (Old French rapel), from rapeler “to recall, summon” (see repeal (v.)). The same word had been borrowed earlier (1848) to mean “a drum roll to summon soldiers.”

1957 in the mountaineering sense; see rappel (n.). Related: Rappeled; rappelling.


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