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compel

[kuhm-pel]
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verb (used with object), com·pelled, com·pel·ling.
  1. to force or drive, especially to a course of action: His disregard of the rules compels us to dismiss him.
  2. to secure or bring about by force.
  3. to force to submit; subdue.
  4. to overpower.
  5. Archaic. to drive together; unite by force; herd.
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verb (used without object), com·pelled, com·pel·ling.
  1. to use force.
  2. to have a powerful and irresistible effect, influence, etc.
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Origin of compel

1350–1400; Middle English compellen (< Anglo-French) < Latin compellere to crowd, force, equivalent to com- com- + pellere to push, drive
Related formscom·pel·la·ble, adjectivecom·pel·la·bly, adverbcom·pel·lent, adjectivecom·pel·ler, nouncom·pel·ling·ly, adverbpre·com·pel, verb (used with object), pre·com·pelled, pre·com·pel·ling.un·com·pel·la·ble, adjectiveun·com·pelled, adjective
Can be confusedcoerce compel constrain force obligecompel impel (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for compel

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Synonym study

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

Contemporary Examples of compellingly

Historical Examples of compellingly

  • 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

    Jack London

  • 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

    Will Lillibridge

  • The shrewd grey eyes were observing them collectively, compellingly.

    Where the Trail Divides

    Will Lillibridge


British Dictionary definitions for compellingly

compel

verb -pels, -pelling or -pelled (tr)
  1. to cause (someone) by force (to be or do something)
  2. to obtain by force; exactto compel obedience
  3. to overpower or subdue
  4. archaic to herd or drive together
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Derived Formscompellable, 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

Word Origin and History for compellingly

compel

v.

mid-14c., from Old French compellir, from Latin compellere "to drive together, drive to one place" (of cattle), "to force or compel" (of persons), from com- "together" (see com-) + pellere "to drive" (see pulse (n.1)). Related: Compelled; compelling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper