Definitions for compelkəmˈpɛl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word compel

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

com•pel*kəmˈpɛl(v.t.)-pelled, -pel•ling.

  1. to force or drive, esp. to a course of action:

    His unruliness compels us to dismiss him.

  2. to secure or bring about by force or power:

    to compel obedience.

  3. Archaic. to drive together; unite by force; herd.

* Syn: compel , impel agree in the idea of forcing someone to be or do something. compel implies an external force; it may be a persuasive urging from another person or a constraining reason or circumstance: Bad health compelled him to resign. impel suggests an internal motivation deriving either from a moral constraint or personal feeling: Guilt impelled him to offer money.

Origin of compel:

1350–1400; < AF, OF compellir蠐 L compellere to crowd, force <com-+pellere to push, drive


Princeton's WordNet

  1. compel, oblige, obligate(verb)

    force somebody to do something

    "We compel all students to fill out this form"

  2. compel(verb)

    necessitate or exact

    "the water shortage compels conservation"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. compel(verb)əmˈpɛl

    to force sb to do sth

    to feel compelled to tell him


  1. compel(Verb)

    To drive together, round up

    Sheep dogs masterly compel the herd.

  2. compel(Verb)

    To overpower; to subdue

  3. compel(Verb)

    To force, constrain or coerce

    Logic compels the wise, fools feel compelled by emotions instead

  4. compel(Verb)

    To exact, extort, (make) produce by force

  5. Origin: From compellen, from compellir, from compellere, itself from com- 'together' + pellere 'to drive'

Webster Dictionary

  1. Compel(verb)

    to drive or urge with force, or irresistibly; to force; to constrain; to oblige; to necessitate, either by physical or moral force

  2. Compel(verb)

    to take by force or violence; to seize; to exact; to extort

  3. Compel(verb)

    to force to yield; to overpower; to subjugate

  4. Compel(verb)

    to gather or unite in a crowd or company

  5. Compel(verb)

    to call forth; to summon

  6. Compel(verb)

    to make one yield or submit


  1. Compel

    To compel one to present information to a jury is done by order of a judge. If a judge believes the individual has information relevant to the cause, he can "force" that person to present that information or be subject to arrest for contempt of court.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'compel' in Verbs Frequency: #990

Translations for compel

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to force

They compelled me to betray my country.

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