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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 compels
  • But what entices some people to join the family compels others to leave it.
  • Which in turn compels more of us to play the game in the first place.
  • Is it possible that a piece of writing that tasks the reader compels the reader to think and to think deeply.
  • Leaving politics and sociology aside, the image compels on its own merits.
  • Perhaps it's the journey itself that serves whatever need that compels it.
  • Poverty, their badge and typical condition, invites-compels it.
  • It suggests as to persons that moral superiority which attracts and compels admiration.
  • But knowing why immigrants come here isn't the same as understanding what compels them to leave there.
  • Ours was the sick feeling of cowards that compels hanging around.
  • It compels every citizen to buy health insurance on pain of a fine.
British Dictionary definitions for compels

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 compels

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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