- 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.
- 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 Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin compellere, from com-
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//