- 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 for compel 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 compellingly
A figure who could compellingly make that case is sadly missing from our national politics.The Immigration Argument We Need
May 10, 2013
The awkward divergence from fashion is so compellingly wrong that it appears cool in the most ironic, hipster kind of way.The Secrets Behind the Bikinis of Harmony Korine’s New Film, ‘Spring Breakers’
Misty White Sidell
March 19, 2013
Lewis wrote a compellingly readable autobiography called Surprised by Joy.The Odd Story of C.S. Lewis, an Extremely Odd Man
March 10, 2013
Olmert is the most compellingly contradictory character in Israeli public life.The Man on a Mud-Stained Horse
October 22, 2012
Moreover, he must compellingly make the case that there has been a consistent strategy, plan, and consistent policy.Obama's Damaging Doublespeak
August 25, 2010
Suddenly and compellingly, he had become aware of the fact of Women.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
His hunger was driving him too compellingly—only—only he wondered if Bill, too, were lost.Love of Life
The view is at once compellingly beautiful and weirdly repelling.In the Oregon Country
George Palmer Putnam
The steady gaze shifted to his companion, held there compellingly.Ben Blair
The shrewd grey eyes were observing them collectively, compellingly.Where the Trail Divides
- 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
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
Word Origin and History for compellingly
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper