Simple Definition of impel
: to cause (someone) to feel a strong need or desire to do something
Examples of impel in a sentence
His interest in the American Civil War impelled him to make repeated visits to Gettysburg.
She felt impelled to give a speech after the performance.
Did You Know?
Impel is very similar in meaning to compel, and often a perfect synonym, though it tends to suggest even more strongly an inner drive to do something and a greater urgency to act, especially for moral reasons. But when impel takes its noun and adjective forms, it changes slightly. So an impulse—such as "impulse buying", when you suddenly see something cool and know you've got to have it—often isn't based on anything very serious. And impulsive behavior in general, such as blurting out something stupid on the spur of the moment, is the kind of thing you're supposed to get over when you grow up.
Origin and Etymology of impel
Middle English impellen, from Latin impellere, from in- + pellere to drive — more at felt
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of impel
IMPEL Defined for Kids
Definition of impel for Students
: to urge or force into action <I felt impelled to speak up.>
Seen and Heard
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