Definition of impel
- felt impelled to correct the misconception
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.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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.
What made you want to look up impel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
to lessen the seriousness or strength of
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