- transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English compellen, from Anglo-French compeller, from Latin compellere, from com- + pellere to drive — more at felt
Date: 14th century
1. to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly <hunger compelled him to eat> 2. to cause to do or occur by overwhelming pressure <public opinion compelled her to sign the bill> 3. archaic to drive together Synonyms: see force • compellable adjective
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.