From Middle English compellen, a borrowing 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.
- (transitive, archaic, literally) To drive together, round up (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- (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.
- (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.
- Wolsey […] compelled the people to pay up the whole subsidy at once.
- (transitive) To exact, extort, (make) produce by force.
- Commissions, which compel from each / The sixth part of his substance.
1912, L. Frank Baum, chapter 14, in Sky Island:
- The Queen has nothing but the power to execute the laws, to adjust grievances and to compel order.
- (obsolete) To force to yield; to overpower; to subjugate.
- Easy sleep their weary limbs compelled.
- I compel all creatures to my will.
- (obsolete) To gather or unite in a crowd or company.
- in one troop compelled
- (obsolete) To call forth; to summon.
- She had this knight from far compelled.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Chapman to this entry?)
- 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.