American English

Definition of compelling adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1that makes you pay attention to it because it is so interesting and exciting Her latest book makes compelling reading. Thesaurusinterestingfascinating compelling stimulating gripping absorbingThese words all describe someone or something that attracts or holds your attention because they are/it is exciting, unusual, or full of good ideas.interesting attracting your attention because it is exciting, unusual, or full of good ideas:That's an interesting question, Daniel.fascinating extremely interesting or attractive:The exhibition tells the fascinating story of the steam age.compelling (somewhat formal) so interesting or exciting that it holds your attention:Her latest book makes for compelling reading.stimulating full of interesting or exciting ideas; making people feel enthusiastic:We had a stimulating conversation over lunch.gripping so exciting or interesting that it holds your attention completely:His books are always so gripping.absorbing so interesting or enjoyable that it holds your attention:Chess can be a completely absorbing game.Patterns interesting/fascinating/stimulating for somebody interesting/fascinating to somebody interesting/fascinating that… interesting/fascinating to see/hear/find/learn/know… a(n) interesting/fascinating/compelling/stimulating/gripping read/book a(n) interesting/fascinating/compelling/gripping story a(n) interesting/fascinating/stimulating experience/discussion/idea to find something interesting/fascinating/compelling/stimulating/gripping/absorbing
  2. 2so strong that you must do something about it a compelling need/desire
  3. 3that makes you think it is true There is no compelling reason to believe him. compelling evidence
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adverb compellingly attractive
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: compelling

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