I want to say a word 'compellance' or 'compelation', but I don't know what the correct word is.

  • 2
    What's the problem with compulsion?
    – Kris
    Mar 11, 2013 at 7:27
  • @Kris, (from one Kris to another), what's the problem with courteousness? :-) If you're old enough and from the US, you might remember the song, "Try a Little Tenderness" - particularly with our new community members! Mar 14, 2013 at 18:08
  • @KristinaLopez I'm not young enough for frivolity any more :) In any case, was that comment above rude? Who'd a thunk!
    – Kris
    Mar 15, 2013 at 6:57

3 Answers 3


The simplest noun form of compel is compulsion. It is most commonly associated with psychological drives.

  • So what's a good word that doesn't have this negative connotation?
    – Pacerier
    May 25, 2017 at 9:38
  • Compel has a negative connotation so it seems to me that the noun form having a similar negative connatation is appropriate. You might use "drive" or "tendancy" but neither of them is a good match for "compel"
    – Eric Nolan
    Feb 18, 2019 at 12:12

Compeller: a person or a reason behind the force or drive. "Father was a compeller, a man who would not be disobeyed." Keeps the Latin root of com (with) + pellere (to drive or force) but retains the reason behind the action.


Impetus (“force, either internal or external, that impels; an impulse”) should serve. Some words found in definitions of several of those words may also work: push, thrust, urge, force, stimulus, impulse.

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