- 1to force someone to do something; to make something necessary compel somebody to do something The law can compel fathers to make regular payments for their children. Ifeel compelled to write and tell you how much I enjoyed your book. compel something Last year bad health compelled his retirement.
- 2compel something (not used in the progressive tenses) to cause a particular reaction He spoke with an authority that compelled the attention of the whole crowd. see also compulsion
NAmE//kəmˈpɛl//(formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they compel
he / she / it compels
past simple compelled
-ing form compelling