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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce compelling (audio)

Dictionary definition of compelling

Having a powerful and irresistible effect, often capturing one's attention or interest in an intense way.
"The novel had a compelling storyline that kept me hooked until the very end."

Detailed meaning of compelling

It can be associated with a range of contexts, such as an argument, story, piece of evidence, or even a personality. When something is termed compelling, it denotes that it is persuasive, enthralling or convincingly strong to the extent that it draws you in or makes you believe or invest in it. For instance, a compelling story would be one that is so engaging that it's hard to put down, while a compelling argument is one that presents its points so effectively that it's difficult to dispute. In essence, 'compelling' often indicates a magnetic and influential quality that is difficult to ignore or resist.

Example sentences containing compelling

1. The documentary presented a compelling case for environmental conservation.
2. Her performance in the play was absolutely compelling; the audience was spellbound.
3. The lawyer delivered a compelling argument that swayed the jury in his client's favor.
4. The photographer captured compelling images of poverty that sparked a global conversation.
5. The speaker's personal story was so compelling that it moved everyone in the audience to tears.
6. The documentary series provided a compelling glimpse into the lives of endangered species.

History and etymology of compelling

The word 'compelling' has its origins in the Old French term 'compellir,' which, in turn, comes from the Latin word 'compellere.' The Latin 'com' signifies 'together' or 'with,' and 'pellere' means 'to drive' or 'to urge.' When combined, they create the concept of urging or driving someone or something together. This etymology underscores the idea that something 'compelling' has a powerful and irresistible effect, as it urges or drives one's attention or interest intensely, often leaving no choice but to be captivated by it. Over time, this term evolved in Middle English into 'compellen' and later into 'compelling,' reflecting its modern usage to describe something profoundly engaging and captivating.

Quiz: Find the meaning of compelling

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Further usage examples of compelling

1. The artist's paintings were visually stunning and emotionally compelling.
2. The book's compelling characters made it impossible to put down.
3. The documentary filmmaker crafted a compelling narrative that shed light on a forgotten chapter of history.
4. The scientist presented compelling evidence that supported her groundbreaking theory.
5. The movie had a compelling twist that left the audience in awe.
6. Her compelling storytelling kept the audience captivated.
7. The book's compelling plot made it hard to put down.
8. His speech had a compelling message that moved the crowd.
9. The movie had compelling characters and a gripping plot.
10. The artist's work had a compelling and unique style.
11. The evidence presented in court was highly compelling.
12. A compelling argument swayed public opinion.
13. The music's compelling melody touched hearts.
14. The documentary offered a compelling perspective.
15. Her story was a compelling example of resilience.
16. The scientific discovery had a compelling impact.
17. The painting's colors were striking and compelling.
18. The product's features made it highly compelling.
19. The historical novel had a compelling narrative.
20. His performance was a compelling display of talent.
21. A compelling reason to visit the museum is its art.
22. The mystery novel had a compelling twist.
23. The politician's speech had a compelling vision.
24. The athlete's journey was a compelling story of triumph.
25. The case for conservation is highly compelling.



persuasive, unconvincing, unimpressive, dull


Prefix com-, ACT 1 (American College Testing), High School 4, Middle School 10

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