When rock climbers rappel, they lower themselves down the side of a wall or mountain. To rappel safely, a climber uses special anchors and climbing ropes, as well as the help of another person.

Descending is the riskiest part of mountaineering, so many climbers rappel instead of simply climbing down using hand- and footholds. Various tools and equipment can help a climber rappel even more safely, but the most important one is a good rope that’s securely anchored. The French rappel literally means “recall.” Some English speakers use the term abseil instead.

Definitions of rappel
  1. verb

    lower oneself with a rope coiled around the body from a mountainside

    abseil, rope down
    see moresee less

    type of:

    come down, descend, fall, go down

    move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way

  2. noun

    (mountaineering) a descent of a vertical cliff or wall made by using a doubled rope that is fixed to a higher point and wrapped around the body

    see moresee less

    type of:


    the act of changing your location in a downward direction

Word Family