compel

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English compellen, borrowed 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"), from Old English fordrīfan. More at fordrive.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /kəmˈpɛl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛl
  • Hyphenation: com‧pel

Verb[edit]

compel (third-person singular simple present compels, present participle compelling, simple past and past participle compelled)

  1. (transitive, archaic, literally) To drive together, round up (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  2. (transitive) To overpower; to subdue.
    • 1917, Upton Sinclair, chapter 16, in King Coal:
      She had one of those perfect faces, which irresistibly compel the soul of a man.
  3. (transitive) To force, constrain or coerce.
    Logic compels the wise, while fools feel compelled by emotions.
    • 1600, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, act 5, scene 1,
      Against my will, / As Pompey was, am I compell’d to set / Upon one battle all our liberties.
    • (Can we date this quote by Hallam and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Wolsey [] compelled the people to pay up the whole subsidy at once.
  4. (transitive) To exact, extort, (make) produce by force.
  5. (obsolete) To force to yield; to overpower; to subjugate.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Easy sleep their weary limbs compelled.
    • (Can we date this quote by Tennyson and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      I compel all creatures to my will.
  6. (obsolete) To gather or unite in a crowd or company.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      in one troop compelled
  7. (obsolete) To call forth; to summon.
    • (Can we date this quote by Spenser and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      She had this knight from far compelled.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chapman to this entry?)

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

References[edit]