verb (compels, compelling, compelled)[with object and infinitive]
- 1Force or oblige (someone) to do something: a sense of duty compelled Harry to answer her questionsMore example sentences
force, coerce into, pressurize into, pressure, impel, drive, press, push, urge, prevail on; dragoon into, browbeat into, bully into, bludgeon into, intimidate into, terrorize into; oblige, require, put under an obligation, leave someone no option but to; make• informal bulldoze, railroad, steamroller, twist someone's arm, strong-arm, lean on, put the screws on• archaic constrainexact, extort, demand, insist on, enforce, force, necessitate• archaic constrain
- He could leave for Philadelphia with his new bride as planned, but duty compels him to stay and meet his fate.
- Blood binds us, duty compels us to serve the Throne, to give up our lives if need be to protect those upon the Throne and those destined by fate to ascend to it when the time comes.
- Duty and honor compel him to return to face his foe despite the vehement protestations of Amy, a Quaker.
- 1.1 [with object] Bring about (something) by the use of force or pressure: they may compel a witness’s attendance at court by issue of a summons his striking appearance compelled attentionMore example sentences
- On two occasions the applicant was forced to bring motions to compel payment.
- The defendant brought a motion to compel the attendance of the plaintiff at an examination for discovery.
- Crucially he or she will have statutory powers to both summon witnesses and compel evidence.
late Middle English: from Latin compellere, from com- 'together' + pellere 'drive'.