verb com·pel \kəm-ˈpel\

: to force (someone) to do something

: to make (something) happen : to force (something)


Full Definition of COMPEL

transitive verb
:  to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly <hunger compelled him to eat>
:  to cause to do or occur by overwhelming pressure <public opinion compelled her to sign the bill>
archaic :  to drive together
com·pel·la·ble \-ˈpe-lə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of COMPEL

  1. Illness compelled him to stay in bed.
  2. We took steps to compel their cooperation.

Origin of COMPEL

Middle English compellen, from Anglo-French compeller, from Latin compellere, from com- + pellere to drive — more at felt
First Known Use: 14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: compellable witnessPrevious Word in the Dictionary: compeer (noun)All Words Near: compel
May 23, 2015
debouch Hear it
to emerge or cause to emerge
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears