com·​pel·​ling | \ kəm-ˈpe-liŋ How to pronounce compelling (audio) \

Definition of compelling

: that compels: such as
a : forceful a compelling personality a compelling desire
b : demanding attention for compelling reasons The novel was so compelling that I couldn't put it down.
c : convincing no compelling evidence

Other Words from compelling

compellingly adverb

Examples of compelling in a Sentence

The novel was so compelling that I couldn't put it down. He made a compelling argument. I would need a very compelling reason to leave my job. She had a compelling need to share what she had heard.
Recent Examples on the Web For a 2-2 series in the Eastern Conference finals that has been distilled to a best-of-3 between the top two seeds, the matchup has not been compelling. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 24 May 2022 Near-rhyme, half rhyme, off rhyme, odd rhyme, assonance and identities, slant rhymers and straight rhymers: all of it is potentially compelling, and none of it is a sanctuary from sense. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 Woods wasn’t that spectacular, yet no less compelling. Mark Heim |, al, 21 May 2022 These works are always aesthetically compelling – often more visually arresting than Duchamp’s– but relatively conventional given the profound influence of the Readymade on late 20th and early 21st century art history. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 20 May 2022 Woods wasn’t that spectacular, yet no less compelling. Doug Ferguson, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 May 2022 The content of the series is undeniably compelling—a company of soldiers who experiences some of the most history-altering moments of the Second World War, including the D-Day invasion and the liberation of Kaufering. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 17 May 2022 Australia was most compelling for her about the role. Maggie Zhou,, 16 May 2022 The 1984 movie starring Drew Barrymore was reasonably compelling in that way that most early King movies were, if not particularly exceptional or memorable. Jason Bailey, Rolling Stone, 13 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compelling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of compelling

1606, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for compelling

from present participle of compel

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Time Traveler for compelling

Time Traveler

The first known use of compelling was in 1606

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Statistics for compelling

Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Compelling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for compelling



Legal Definition of compelling

: that compels : tending to demand action or to convince a compelling need for disclosure a compelling argument

More from Merriam-Webster on compelling

Nglish: Translation of compelling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compelling for Arabic Speakers


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