What does compel mean?

Definitions for compelkəmˈpɛl

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word compel.

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"


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Compel

    kom-pel′, v.t. to drive or urge on forcibly: to oblige: to force: to obtain by hard labour:—pr.p. compel′ling; pa.p. compelled′.—adj. Compel′lable. [L. com, inten., pellĕre, pulsum, to drive.]

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

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


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of compel in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of compel in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Voltaire:

    The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.

  2. Tim Malloy:

    If he is sitting on the fence, his scores in the match-ups and his favorability ratings may compel him to say, 'Let's do this,'.

  3. Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall:

    I would like to see companies make more investments in technologies for future profits, but I'm not in a position to compel them to do it.

  4. Sage Eastman:

    What might compel [action], especially in this era of populism, is this broader sense of how much some folks are getting away with, lawfully or not.

  5. Fyodor Dostoevsky:

    If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.

Images & Illustrations of compel

  1. compelcompelcompel

Translations for compel

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • заставям, принуждавам, насилвам, подчинявам, събирамBulgarian
  • nutitCzech
  • nötigen, zwingenGerman
  • αναγκάζωGreek
  • devigiEsperanto
  • obligar, compeler, forzarSpanish
  • [[periä]] [[väkisin]], pakottaa, ajaaFinnish
  • obligerFrench
  • ենթարկել, ստիպել, հարկադրել, պարտադրելArmenian
  • לאלץHebrew
  • 강요하다Korean
  • afdwingen, bijeendrijven, samendrijven, bedwingen, dwingenDutch
  • tvingeNorwegian
  • forçarPortuguese
  • вынудить, принудить, обязывать, заставлять, подчинять, вынуждать, принуждать, собирать, заставить, обязатьRussian
  • tvingaSwedish

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"compel." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 19 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/compel>.

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