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Does our DNA compel us to act as we do?
  to force someone to do something

or more rarely:

to convince someone to do something
 Mark word for later review on this computer
compelled compel compels compellable compeller
Strongly Associated with:   compelling
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  • Does our DNA compel us to act as we do?
  • Can we compel the witness to testify?
  • Cicero listed "Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do" as one of the six mistakes of mankind.
  • Out of the hard and unusual struggle through which he is compelled to pass, he gets a strength, a confidence, that one misses whose pathway is comparatively smooth by reason of birth and race.
    Booker T. Washington

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  • I was compelled to deliver every cent of that money to Master Hugh.
    Frederick Douglass  --  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • She wanted to run, breathless as she was, up-stairs to Mr. Linton’s room; but I compelled her to sit down on a chair, and...
    Emily Bronte  --  Wuthering Heights
  • She compelled obedience from him,
    Jack London  --  White Fang
  • he had been compelled to leave a little protection of stones and dirt to which he had devoted much care and skill.
    Stephen Crane  --  The Red Badge of Courage
  • At this point I was compelled to surrender.
    Booker T. Washington  --  Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
  • Once again, however, he had a close call; and once, suspecting danger, he compelled the dog to go on in front.
    Jack London  --  To Build a Fire

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  • So he compelled himself to read the last paragraph slowly—with his head, not his heart, so that he could understand it.
    Alan Paton  --  Cry, the Beloved Country
  • They are constantly compelled to resort to it.
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call, mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire ... and to plunge into the forest
    Jack London  --  The Call of the Wild
  • The Carthaginians, reduced to extreme necessity, were compelled to come to terms with Agathocles,
    Nicolo Machiavelli  --  The Prince
  • I am sorry, Madam, but I am compelled to ask you to show us his room.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  An American Tragedy
  • The same thing that compelled her to leave Mr. Cunningham’s and go to the office caused her to follow Henry to the sidewalk: she wished to look furtively at them again and again, to assure herself that they had not undergone some alarming physical metamorphosis as well, yet she did not wish to speak to them, to touch them, lest she cause them to commit further outrage in her presence.
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • You can come willingly to the amphitheater, or I can compel you.
    Sabaa Tahir  --  An Ember in the Ashes
  • For we have compelled every land and every sea to open a path for our valor, and have everywhere planted eternal memorials of our friendship and of our enmity.
    Thucydides  --  Pericles’s Funeral Oration
  • Perhaps that’s why Hayden feels compelled to talk.
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind
  • It would have allowed them to continue the trip back to Winston-Salem, but when she recalled the look on Ira’s face and the urgency he obviously felt about finding the letter, Sophia felt compelled to make sure the letter didn’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of the hospital.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Longest Ride
  • "If you mean do I suddenly feel compelled to get back together with Alec, no," said Magnus.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Heavenly Fire
  • Colin didn’t know why, but he felt compelled to keep pushing it.
    John Green  --  An Abundance of Katherines
  • Mae, we would finally be compelled to be our best selves.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
  • Morbid curiosity compelled me to peek at the underside of his visible half, which earned me a crystal-clear view of the inner workings of his bowels.
    Ransom Riggs  --  Hollow City
  • It was too painful, I thought, for Levy and others (especially the middle-class prisoners) to admit that they had been classed as undesirables, compelled against their will into containment, and forced into scarcity without even the dignity of chosen austerity.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • I’m here because I’ve got this vision of justice that compels me to be a witness.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • Now one of the cardinal tenets of biology is that the observer must never allow his attention to be distracted; but honesty compels me to admit that under the present circumstances I found it difficult to maintain an attitude of correct scientific concentration.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • I don’t believe I’ve ever compelled you to do anything.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  • She was compelled to run, yet her legs had melted beneath her.
    Marissa Meyer  --  Cinder
  • A strange sense of duty, not to mention a powerful curiosity, compelled him to join.
    Trenton Lee Stewart  --  The Mysterious Benedict Society
  • Dressing rather shakily, Kit was compelled to ask Mercy’s assistance with the buttons down her back, and was shocked when her older cousin suddenly bent double in a violent fit of coughing.
    Elizabeth George Speare  --  The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • Although you’ve revealed your shortcomings to me, I feel compelled to no such frankness.
    Gail Carson Levine  --  Ella Enchanted
  • Because one is compelled.
    Madeleine L’Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time
  • And I felt compelled to write the following on an index card: You need to have a dermatologist perform a punch biopsy on the mole (nevus) on the back of your neck If it is not too much of an invasion of your privacy, I would very much like to look at the pathology report.
    Holly Goldberg Sloan  --  Counting by 7s
  • Then I felt compelled to add, "I wasn’t brave enough to give my statement."
    Edward Bloor  --  Tangerine
  • I don’t want to ask, but manners compel me.
    Christina Baker Kline  --  Orphan Train
  • "Still," he says, "certain things compel people.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • His dimples are taunting me and I have to force myself to look directly into his eyes or I might be compelled to do something that would be grounds for suspension.
    Colleen Hoover  --  Hopeless
  • I don’t really know what compelled me out of the house, why I felt like I had to prove Hana wrong about something, and I’m trying to ignore the idea—way more disturbing than anything else—that my argument with Hana was just an excuse.
    Lauren Oliver  --  Delirium
  • But because the society had corroded Mrs. Brown’s image of the black man, I did not feel sufficiently compelled to allow Mrs. Brown to infect my students with her malady.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • They took slavery for granted as part of the southern way of life for which they fought, and did not feel compelled to discuss it.
    James M. McPherson  --  What They Fought For - 1861-1865
  • The rosebushes were scratching intently at the windows, but I directed his focus to the sheet of paper waiting there for him, and compelled him to pick up the pen.
    Alexandra Bracken  --  The Darkest Minds
  • More than once, at night, outside a bar or little dance hall, I saw what looked like a drunken pushing and shoving, a brawl with slaps, turn to methodical murder, as though the first wound and the first spurt of blood had made the victim something less than a man, and compelled the wounder to take the act of destruction to the end.
    V.S. Naipaul  --  A Bend in the River
  • Not like my father, who had also lived beneath the Russians but hated them so much that he refused to speak that language unless he was compelled to.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Something is not understood: the robbers and their strange commands, the lady and her gyrations, the tricks she’s compelled to perform, like a trained dog.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Cat’s Eye
    Laurie Halse Anderson  --  Chains
  • And an English officer canna compel the person of a Scot, unless he’s firm evidence of a crime committed, or grounds for serious suspicions.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • Mother will not set foot upon it but unfortunately I was compelled.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • Also, I feel compelled to say that your face is beautiful to me.
    Kate DiCamillo  --  Flora & Ulysses
  • If I’d still been there, Kyle wouldn’t have felt compelled to live a lie for so long.
    John Corey Whaley  --  Nogin
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Associated words [difficulty]:   compel [1] , compelling [1] , compelling [1] , compulsive [3]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   History, Law, Classic Literature, Public Policy & Politics, Personal Finance, Human Behavior, Logic & Reasoning
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