Definition of impel in English:


Syllabification: im·pel
Pronunciation: /imˈpel

verb (impels, impelling, impelled)

[with object]
1Drive, force, or urge (someone) to do something: financial difficulties impelled him to desperate measures [with object and infinitive]: a lack of equality impelled the oppressed to fight
More example sentences
  • That's the countervailing force that impels us to behave in a civilised manner and reach out peaceably to others, even others perceived as alien.
  • Her fear of the thugs impels her to urge her husband to either join them or move.
  • We must feel our need, the distress that drives and impels us to cry out.
force, compel, constrain, oblige, require, make, urge, exhort, press, pressurize, drive, push, spur, prod, goad, incite, prompt, persuade
1.1Drive forward; propel: vital energies impel him in unforeseen directions
More example sentences
  • But it is the pilgrim's lightness that impels the narrative forward, out of hell and into purgatory.
  • Rather, simply being able to begin to express reactions as mathematical entities with a view to balancing the various reagents impelled chemistry forward.
  • But oddly, it is also the women, and that damned dress, who impel her forward.
propel, drive, move, get going, get moving


late Middle English (in the sense 'propel'): from Latin impellere, from in- 'toward' + pellere 'to drive'.

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