Simple Definition of compel
: to force (someone) to do something
: to make (something) happen : to force (something)
Full Definition of compel
1 : to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly <hunger compelled him to eat>
2 : to cause to do or occur by overwhelming pressure <public opinion compelled her to sign the bill>
3 archaic : to drive together
Examples of compel
Illness compelled him to stay in bed.
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
Synonym Discussion of compel
Rhymes with compel
band shell, barbell, Becquerel, Blackwell, bluebell, bombshell, bridewell, cadelle, cartel, chandelle, Chanel, clamshell, cormel, cornel, corral, cowbell, cupel, diel, dispel, doorbell, dry cell, dry well, dumbbell, duxelles, ear shell, eggshell, excel, expel, farewell, fat cell, foretell, fuel cell, gazelle, germ cell, Glaspell, gromwell, groundswell, half shell, handbell, hard sell, hard-shell, harebell, hotel, impel, indwell, inkwell, Jarrell, jurel, Kandel, lampshell, lapel, Mandel, marcel, maxwell, Maxwell, micelle, misspell, morel, motel, nacelle, nerve cell, Nobel, noel, nouvelle, nutshell, oil well, Orel, Orwell, outsell, pall-mall, Parnell, pastel, pell-mell, pixel, pointelle, Ponselle, presell, propel, quenelle, rakehell, rappel, Ravel, rebel, refel, repel, respell, retell, riel, rondel, Roswell, saurel, scalpel, seashell, sequel, sleigh bell, soft sell, soft-shell, solgel, speedwell, spinel, stairwell, star shell, stem cell, tooth shell, unsell, unwell, upwell, wind-bell
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