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compel

[ kuhm-pel ]
/ kəmˈpɛl /
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See synonyms for: compel / compelled / compelling / compels on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), com·pelled, com·pel·ling.
verb (used without object), com·pelled, com·pel·ling.
to use force.
to have a powerful and irresistible effect, influence, etc.
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Origin of compel

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English compellen, from Anglo-French or directly from Latin compellere “to crowd, force,” equivalent to com- com- + pellere “to push, drive”

synonym study for compel

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.

OTHER WORDS FROM compel

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH compel

1. coerce, compel , constrain, force, oblige2. compel , impel (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use compel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for compel

compel
/ (kəmˈpɛl) /

verb -pels, -pelling or -pelled (tr)
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

Derived forms of compel

compellable, adjectivecompellably, adverbcompeller, noun

Word Origin for compel

C14: from Latin compellere to drive together, from com- together + pellere to drive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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