verb (used with object), com·pelled, com·pel·ling.
- to force or drive, especially to a course of action: His disregard of the rules compels us to dismiss him.
- to secure or bring about by force.
- to force to submit; subdue.
- to overpower.
- Archaic. to drive together; unite by force; herd.
verb (used without object), com·pelled, com·pel·ling.
- to use force.
- to have a powerful and irresistible effect, influence, etc.
verb -pels, -pelling or -pelled (tr)
- to cause (someone) by force (to be or do something)
- to obtain by force; exactto compel obedience
- to overpower or subdue
- archaic to herd or drive together
v.mid-14c., from Old French compellir, from Latin compellere “to drive together, drive to one place” (of cattle), “to force or compel” (of persons), from com- “together” (see com-) + pellere “to drive” (see pulse (n.1)). Related: Compelled; compelling.