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 fightMore 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.
- 1.1Drive forward; propel: vital energies impel him in unforeseen directionsMore 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.
late Middle English (in the sense 'propel'): from Latin impellere, from in- 'towards' + pellere 'to drive'.