[ 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.

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 forms

un·im·pelled, adjective

Can be confused

compel 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 impelling

British Dictionary definitions for impelling


/ (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 Forms

impellent, 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