- to force or drive, especially to a course of action: His disregard of the rules compels us to dismiss him.
- to secure or bring about by force.
- to force to submit; subdue.
- to overpower.
- Archaic. to drive together; unite by force; herd.
- to use force.
- to have a powerful and irresistible effect, influence, etc.
Origin of compel
1350–1400; Middle English compellen (< Anglo-French) < Latin compellere to crowd, force, equivalent to com- com- + pellere to push, drive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. constrain, oblige, coerce. 3. overpower, bend.
3. Compel, impel agree in the idea of using physical or other force to cause something to be done. Compel means to constrain someone, in some way, to yield or to do what one wishes: to compel a recalcitrant debtor to pay; Fate compels us to face danger and trouble. Impel may mean literally to push forward, but is usually applied figuratively, meaning to provide a strong motive or incentive toward a certain end: Wind impels a ship. Curiosity impels me to ask.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for uncompelled
If she gives up anything it is by her own free and uncompelled will.Armorel of Lyonesse
It is this voluntary, uncompelled, spontaneous devotion of Himself to the good of men which is the magnetic point in this earth.
Without hope, uncompelled labor is an impossibility; and hope implies an object.Lectures on Art
No one uncompelled cared to face the grim, gray, scowling day whose breath was freezing.A Man's Hearth
Eleanor M. Ingram
- to cause (someone) by force (to be or do something)
- to obtain by force; exactto compel obedience
- to overpower or subdue
- archaic to herd or drive together
C14: from Latin compellere to drive together, from com- together + pellere to drive
Word Origin and History for uncompelled
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper