- tending to compel, as to force or push toward a course of action; overpowering: There were compelling reasons for their divorce.
- having a powerful and irresistible effect; requiring acute admiration, attention, or respect: a man of compelling integrity; a compelling drama.
Origin of compelling
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for compel on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for compelling
I think a certain kind of compelling essay has a piece of that.Daphne Merkin on Lena Dunham, Book Criticism, and Self-Examination
December 26, 2014
And some of the most compelling statements came from a powerful, crucial set of equality allies: corporations.Corporations Are No Longer Silent on LGBT Issues
December 24, 2014
On Thursday, Detective Superintendent McDonald described his account as “harrowing” and compelling.Victim: I Watched British MPs Rape and Murder Young Boys
December 18, 2014
The refugee stories are compelling at first, but horrific details are numbing.Inside the Smuggling Networks Flooding Europe with Refugees
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 15, 2014
And those moments of full control are among the least compelling.‘Game of Thrones’ Interactive FanFiction: Whoops, My Friend Was Speared in the Throat
December 13, 2014
His senses breathed the air of her perfect and compelling femininity.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
And then, as the other nodded in assent, she spoke with a compelling kindliness.Within the Law
Now there was something so compelling about her tone that he bent all his faculties to the task.Quaint Courtships
Some women went by, compelling Salvat to step off the foot-pavement.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
The heritage was too compelling for a wolf that was only a cub.White Fang
- arousing or denoting strong interest, esp admiring interest
- (of an argument, evidence, etc) convincing
- 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
Word Origin and History for compelling
c.1600, present participle adjective from compel. Meaning "irresistible" is from 1901. Related: Compellingly.