[ im-pel ]
/ ɪmˈpɛl /

verb (used with object), im·pelled, im·pel·ling.

to drive or urge forward; press on; incite or constrain to action.
to drive or cause to move onward; propel; impart motion to.

Nearby words

  1. impedance matching,
  2. impede,
  3. impediment,
  4. impedimenta,
  5. impedor,
  6. impellent,
  7. impeller,
  8. impend,
  9. impendent,
  10. impending

Origin of impel

1375–1425; late Middle English impellen < Latin impellere to strike against, set in motion (transitive), equivalent to im- im-1 + pellere to strike, move (something); akin to pulse1

Related formsun·im·pelled, adjective

Can be confusedcompel impel (see synonym study at compel)

Synonym study

1. See compel. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impel

British Dictionary definitions for impel


/ (ɪmˈpɛl) /

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

to urge or force (a person) to an action; constrain or motivate
to push, drive, or force into motion
Derived Formsimpellent, noun, adjective

Word Origin for impel

C15: from Latin impellere to push against, drive forward, from im- (in) + pellere to drive, push, strike

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 impel



early 15c., from Latin impellere "to push, strike against, drive forward, urge on," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + pellere "to push, drive" (see pulse (n.1)). Related: Impelled; impelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper