Definition of impel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪmˈpɛl/

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, necessitate, require, demand, make, urge, exhort, press, apply pressure, pressure, pressurize, drive, push, spur, prod, goad, incite, prompt, persuade, inspire
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, drive forwards, move forwards, move, actuate, set in motion, get going, get moving


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

  • appeal from Middle English:

    Recorded first in legal contexts, appeal comes via Old French from Latin appellare ‘to address, accost, call upon’. Peal (Late Middle English) is a shortening of appeal, perhaps from the call to prayers of a ringing bell. The base of appeal is Latin pellere ‘to drive’, found also in compel ‘drive together’; dispel ‘drive apart’; expel ‘drive out’; impel ‘drive towards’; and impulsive; propel ‘drive forwards’; repel ‘drive back’, all Late Middle English. It is also the source of the pulse (Middle English) that you can feel on your wrist and is related to push (Middle English). The other kind of pulse, an edible seed, is a different word, which comes via Old French from Latin puls ‘porridge of meal or pulse’, related to the sources of both pollen and powder.

Words that rhyme with impel

Adele, Aix-la-Chapelle, aquarelle, artel, au naturel, bagatelle, béchamel, befell, bell, belle, boatel, Brunel, Cadell, carousel, cartel, cell, Chanel, chanterelle, clientele, Clonmel, compel, Cornell, crime passionnel, dell, demoiselle, dispel, dwell, el, ell, Estelle, excel, expel, farewell, fell, Fidel, fontanelle, foretell, Gabrielle, gazelle, gel, Giselle, hell, hotel, knell, lapel, mademoiselle, maître d'hôtel, Manuel, marcel, matériel, mesdemoiselles, Michel, Michelle, Miguel, misspell, morel, moschatel, Moselle, motel, muscatel, nacelle, Nell, Nobel, Noel, organelle, outsell, Parnell, pell-mell, personnel, propel, quell, quenelle, rappel, Raquel, Ravel, rebel, repel, Rochelle, Sahel, sardelle, sell, shell, show-and-tell, smell, Snell, spell, spinel, swell, tell, undersell, vielle, villanelle, well, yell

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