- To compel is to force someone do something or make something happen.
An example of compel is when you argue until someone agrees to give in.
transitive verbcompelled, compelling
- to force or constrain, as to do something
- to get or bring about by force
- Archaic to gather or drive together by force, as a flock
Origin of compelMiddle English compellen ; from Old French compellir ; from Classical Latin compellere ; from com-, together + pellere, to drive: see felt
transitive verbcom·pelled, com·pel·ling, com·pels
- To force (a person) to do something; drive or constrain: The court compelled the company to pay full restitution. My conscience compels me to speak out. See Synonyms at force.
- To necessitate or require, as by force of circumstance; demand: Growing riots compelled the evacuation of the embassy.
- To exert a strong, irresistible force on; sway: “The land, in a certain, very real way, compels the minds of the people” (Barry Lopez).
Origin of compelMiddle English compellen, from Latin compellere : com-, com- + pellere, to drive; see pel-5 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present compels, present participle compelling, simple past and past participle compelled)