from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To force, drive, or constrain: Duty compelled the soldiers to volunteer for the mission.
- transitive v. To necessitate or pressure by force; exact: An energy crisis compels fuel conservation. See Synonyms at force.
- transitive v. To exert a strong, irresistible force on; sway: "The land, in a certain, very real way, compels the minds of the people” ( Barry Lopez).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. (literally) To drive together, round up
- v. To overpower; to subdue
- v. To force, constrain or coerce
- v. To exact, extort, (make) produce by force
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To drive or urge with force, or irresistibly; to force; to constrain; to oblige; to necessitate, either by physical or moral force.
- transitive v. To take by force or violence; to seize; to exact; to extort.
- transitive v. To force to yield; to overpower; to subjugate.
- transitive v. To gather or unite in a crowd or company.
- transitive v. To call forth; to summon.
- intransitive v. To make one yield or submit.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To drive or urge with force or irresistibly; constrain; oblige; coerce, by either physical or moral force: as, circumstances compel us to practise economy.
- To subject; force to submit; subdue.
- To take by force or violence; wrest; extort.
- To drive together; unite by force; gather in a crowd or company; herd.
- To overpower; overcome; control.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. force somebody to do something
- v. necessitate or exact
Middle English compellen, from Latin compellere : com-, com- + pellere, to drive; see pel-5 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English compellen, from Middle French compellir, from Latin compellere, itself from com- ("together") + pellere ("to drive"). Displaced native Middle English fordriven ("to drive out, to lead to, to compel, to force"). More at fordrive. (Wiktionary)