Definition of compel verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    compel

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpel//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpel//
     
    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they compel
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpel//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpel//
     
    he / she / it compels
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpelz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpelz//
     
    past simple compelled
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpeld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpeld//
     
    past participle compelled
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpeld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpeld//
     
    -ing form compelling
    BrE BrE//kəmˈpelɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpelɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1to force somebody to do something; to make something necessary compel somebody to do something The law can compel fathers to make regular payments for their children. I feel compelled to write and tell you how much I enjoyed your book. The court has powers to compel witnesses to attend. compel something Last year ill health compelled his retirement.
  2. 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.
  3. see also compulsion
    Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin compellere, from com- ‘together’ + pellere ‘drive’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: compel