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Video footage: Leaders in Japan speak at rallies that compel the citizens of Japan to fight in World War II. (1940s)
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Definition of the verb compel

What does compel mean as a doing word?

Compel is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: compelled, compelling

  1. force somebody to do something
  2. necessitate or exact

Alternative definition of the verb compel


  1. [transitive, archaic] [literally] To drive together, round up
  2. [transitive] To overpower; to subdue
  3. [transitive] To force, constrain or coerce
  4. [transitive] To exact, extort, (make) produce by force


Compel is a musical group.

  • album: "Compel"


"Compel" is a musical album of Compel.

  • released on


  1. Compel: To compel one to present information to a jury is done by order of a judge. If a judge believes the individual has information relevant to the cause, he can "force" that person to present that information or be subject to arrest for contempt of court.
  2. Compel is a software.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Compel

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Google previewGo Ye...! a Command, Not an Option (2013)

Extreme Measures Igniting You Into the Soul Winner You've Longed to Be by Charles C. Blackshear

The word compel means to force or drive, especially to a course of action: to secure or bring about by force: to subdue or overpower. The Greek word is anankazo, which means to constrain by force or persuasion. Please understand, the word ...

Google previewThe Law Journal Reports (1899)

For the Year ...

Here, even on the most narrow construction of section 7, the besetting was illegal , and was done with a view to compel the employers. Any of these things done with a view to compel is a wrongful act unless there are unusual circumstances, ...

Google previewGrowing Your Faith (2014)

How to Mature in Christ by Jerry Bridges

Compel is a strong word and often has a negative association with force or coercion. But here its meaning is positive. Charles Hodge wrote that the love of Christ “coerces, or presses, and therefore impels. It is the governing influence which ...

Google previewMaster the ASVAB, 22nd Edition (2014)

by Scott Ostrow

Compel is a much stronger word than persuade. 24C Keen means acute, sensitive, or sharp. 25A Startled means frightened suddenly,though notseriously, hence surprised. 26D Forthcoming means coming up or approaching. 27B A verdict is ...

Google previewBryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words (2002)

by Bill Bryson

Compel is the stronger of the two and, like its cousin compulsion, suggests action undertaken as a result of coercion or irresistible pressure: “The man's bullying tactics compelled us to flee.” Impel is closer in meaning to encourage and means ...

Google previewMaster the ASVAB (2010)

by Scott A. Ostrow

23-C To compel is to require, to coerce, or to force. Compel is a much stronger word than persuade. 24-C Keen means acute, sensitive, ...

Google previewGarner's Modern English Usage (2016)

by Bryan Garner

Current ratio: 2,714:1 compel; impel. Compel is the stronger word, connoting force or coercion, with little or no volition on the part of the one compelled. Impel connotes persuasive urging, with some degree of volition on the part ...

Google previewThe Daily Washington Law Reporter (1902)

In the case of West, recently decided by the Court of Appeals of this District, to which reference has been made, the court said: “The fact that an act which mandamus seeks to compel is the culmination of a series of proceedings of a judicial or ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (2001)

by Bryan A. Garner

compel; impel. Compel is the stronger word, connoting force or coercion, with little or no volition on the part of the one compelled ...

Google previewThe Washington Law Reporter (1902)

In the case of West, recently decided by the Court of Appeals of this District, to which reference has been made, the court said : "The fact that an act which mandamus seeks to compel is the culmination of a series of proceedings of a ...

Google previewThe International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (2015)

by Orr, James

COMPEL. kom-pel ́: Our English word always has in it now the flavor of force, not always, however, physical.

Google previewA Complete Encyclopedia of Virginia Law (1922)

Being a Concise But Complete Alphabetical Presentation of the Present Common and Statute Law, Civil and Criminal of the Commonwealth Based on the Monumental Works of Dr. B. Minor, Etc.; with Forms by Samuel Need Hurst

to compel a court to reinstate a cause erroneously dismissed; (10) to compel il.e payment of a public officer's salary; (11 ) to compel the keeper of the rolls to have a bill, which in the court's opinion has ...

Google previewEncyclopaedia Britannica, Or a Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature (1810)

By distress; to compel the payment or performance. 2. By action of debt. 3. By assize. 4. By writ de consuetudinibus et servitiis; —to compel the payment. 5. By writ of ce/savit;- and, 6. By writ of right sur disclaimer;-to recover the land itself. (3. ) ...

Google previewThe Encyclopedia of United States Supreme Court Reports (1910)

Being a Complete Encyclopedia of All the Case Law of the Federal Supreme Court Up to and Including Volume 206 U.S. Supreme Court Reports (book 51 Lawyers' Edition)

—The benefit to the relator, arising from a mandamus to compel ...

Google previewPansegrouw's Crossword Dictionary (1994)

by Louisa Pansegrouw

euphonious, even, favourable, fit, friendly, genial, harmonious, just, kindly, matching, melodious, musical, pleasant, pleasing, proportional, simpatico, sympathetic compatriot countryman compel coerce, command, commit, conquer, constrain, ...

Google previewThe American and English Encyclopaedia of Law (1908)

by David Shephard Garland, Lucius Polk McGehee, James Cockcroft

To Compel Placing of Name on Official Ballot. – State v. Goff, 129 Wis.

Google previewA Law Dictionary (1969)

by J.A. Ballentine

A writ to compel the justices to allow one in the Service of the king to appear by attorney. De claro die. By the light of day. De clause fracto. 0f breach of close. ' De clerico admittendo. mittendo clerico. De clerico capto per statutum mercaterium ...

Google previewThe new international encyclopaedia (1905)

by Daniel Coit Gilman, Harry Thurston Peck, Frank Moore Colby

Whenever a term of a written contract is incorporated in or omitted from it by mistake, equity will compel a reformation, or, more properly, a reexecution of the contract in accordance with the intention of the parties. Where a contract is tainted ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Compel

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Usage statistics about compel

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb compel:


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Photo credit: ben silverman

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Video language resources about Compel

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Quotes about Compel

If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you. (Dostoyevsky)
more quotes about compel...

Scrabble value of C3O1M3P3E1L1

The value of this 6-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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