Compel means to force or drive someone to do something. Even if you don't like toast, when you visit the toast-eating natives of Shrintakook Island, you'll be compelled to eat it, or they will not trust you.

You don't want to be compelled to go to a classical music concert if you'd rather listen to rap. School officials might be upset if a winter storm compels them to cancel classes, but you'd be okay with that. A compelling mystery forces you to pay attention because you want to find out "whodunit."

Definitions of compel

v force somebody to do something

“We compel all students to fill out this form”
obligate, oblige
show 21 types...
hide 21 types...
force, thrust
impose urgently, importunately, or inexorably
make walk
coerce, force, hale, pressure, squeeze
cause to do through pressure or necessity, by physical, moral or intellectual means
clamor, clamour
compel someone to do something by insistent clamoring
compel or force into a particular state or activity
compel through a sense of shame
apply, enforce, implement
ensure observance of laws and rules
enforce, impose
compel to behave in a certain way
stick, sting
saddle with something disagreeable or disadvantageous
exhibit, march, parade
walk ostentatiously
cause to march or go at a marching pace
turn up the heat, turn up the pressure
apply great or increased pressure
compel or force or urge relentlessly or exert coercive pressure on, or motivate strongly
overcome or coerce as if by using a heavy club
steamroll, steamroller
bring to a specified state by overwhelming force or pressure
squeeze for
squeeze someone for money, information, etc.
dragoon, railroad, sandbag
compel by coercion, threats, or crude means
terrorise, terrorize
coerce by violence or with threats
bring oneself
cause to undertake a certain action, usually used in the negative
execute, run
carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine
carry out the legalities of
Type of:
cause, get, have, induce, make, stimulate
cause to do; cause to act in a specified manner

v necessitate or exact

“the water shortage compels conservation”
Type of:
ask, call for, demand, involve, necessitate, need, postulate, require, take
require as useful, just, or proper

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.