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compel

[kuh m-pel] /kəmˈpɛl/
verb (used with object), compelled, compelling.
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.
verb (used without object), compelled, compelling.
6.
to use force.
7.
to have a powerful and irresistible effect, influence, etc.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English compellen (< Anglo-French) < Latin compellere to crowd, force, equivalent to com- com- + pellere to push, drive
Related forms
compellable, adjective
compellably, adverb
compellent, adjective
compeller, noun
compellingly, adverb
precompel, verb (used with object), precompelled, precompelling.
uncompellable, adjective
uncompelled, adjective
Can be confused
coerce, compel, constrain, force, oblige (see synonym study at oblige)
compel, impel (see synonym study at the current entry)
compelled, impelled.
Synonyms
1. constrain, oblige, coerce. 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. 3. overpower, bend.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for compelled
  • For me, once you're a painter, you're constantly compelled to look at the world as a potential subject for painting.
  • These tiny objects she was compelled to lick continuously.
  • If you feel compelled to make a polite response, keep it brief.
  • Even worse, the kinds of questions they are made to feel compelled to ask themselves.
  • In other words, software companies will feel less compelled to choose sides.
  • They are compelled to find fault with others, rather than take the risk to develop something themselves.
  • In the path at the side of the road they were compelled to walk one behind the other.
  • As it was, he felt compelled to retire up the cañon until he could recover his gravity.
  • But even whilst they deny and abjure, they are yet compelled to serve, that power which is seated on the throne of their own soul.
  • The general, who had favoured her, was compelled to order her not to found any more convents.
British Dictionary definitions for compelled

compel

/kəmˈpɛl/
verb (transitive) -pels, -pelling, -pelled
1.
to cause (someone) by force (to be or do something)
2.
to obtain by force; exact to compel obedience
3.
to overpower or subdue
4.
(archaic) to herd or drive together
Derived Forms
compellable, adjective
compellably, adverb
compeller, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for compelled

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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