Thesaurus

impel

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of impel

1 to set or keep in motion
  • gasoline impels a car's engine

Synonyms for impel

Words Related to impel

Near Antonyms for impel

2 to cause (a person) to give in to pressure
  • I felt impelled to tell the truth, however painful it might be

Synonyms for impel

Words Related to impel

Phrases Synonymous with impel

Near Antonyms for impel

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Frequently Asked Questions About impel

How does the verb impel differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of impel are actuate, drive, and move. While all these words mean "to set or keep in motion," impel is usually figurative and suggests a great motivating impetus.

a candidate impelled by ambition

When is it sensible to use actuate instead of impel?

The synonyms actuate and impel are sometimes interchangeable, but actuate stresses transmission of power so as to work or set in motion.

turbines actuated by waterpower

When is drive a more appropriate choice than impel?

Although the words drive and impel have much in common, drive implies imparting forward and continuous motion and often stresses the effect rather than the impetus.

a ship driven aground by hurricane winds

When would move be a good substitute for impel?

The words move and impel can be used in similar contexts, but move is very general and implies no more than the fact of changing position.

moved the furniture

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Time Traveler for impel

Time Traveler

The first known use of impel was in the 15th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near impel

impeding

impel

impelled

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Cite this Entry

“Impel.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/impel. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on impel

Nglish: Translation of impel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of impel for Arabic Speakers

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