Definition of compelling in English:



  • 1Evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way.

    ‘his eyes were strangely compelling’
    ‘a compelling film’
    • ‘Penn's acting is powerful, compelling and intense.’
    • ‘Their secret courage has inspired a compelling new movie.’
    • ‘Nobody can resist a compelling story and even fewer can resist one so intricately woven into the total experience.’
    • ‘Both draw their power from the compelling image of the strongman posing as the common man.’
    • ‘The result is a compelling human interest drama that only overplays its hand in the heart-tugging overkill of the closing sequences.’
    • ‘But try though she might, she could not succeed in drawing attention to this compelling side of her.’
    • ‘It's just too bad that he can't resist the temptation of inflating a compelling story with too much self-importance.’
    • ‘Despite these weaknesses, his film has many compelling moments with strong performances from the leading actors.’
    • ‘The compelling visuality of the work of art resists appropriation by either the cleverness of historical explanations or the eloquence of descriptive language.’
    • ‘This often explains The West Wing, too, whose episodes and arcs often have disparate threads that come together into a compelling and powerful resolution.’
    enthralling, captivating, gripping, engrossing, riveting, spellbinding, entrancing, transfixing, mesmerizing, hypnotic, mesmeric, absorbing, fascinating, thrilling, irresistible, addictive
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    1. 1.1Not able to be refuted; inspiring conviction.
      ‘compelling evidence’
      ‘a compelling argument’
      • ‘There are no other compelling reasons or interest which justify this being given permission for a further appeal.’
      • ‘The absence of compulsory or generally accepted judicial settlement of international disputes is taken as compelling evidence that the law is not taken seriously and hence that power politics prevails.’
      • ‘Readers fed a steady diet of contemporary theology may not have the stomach to venture beyond this asserted conclusion to get caught up in the compelling argument she presents.’
      • ‘The ultrastructural evidence makes a compelling argument for this tumor being of salivary nonrenal origin, distinct from CCC.19’
      • ‘Although it is difficult to unequivocally equate regeneration with predatory activity, there is compelling evidence for just such a conclusion.’
      • ‘Images tell a story and also form a rhetoric of travel, a way to make a compelling argument and bring back conclusions from the realm of the unknown to the known.’
      • ‘In spite of this information, no conclusive or compelling evidence linking chloride uptake to water absorption has been presented so far.’
      • ‘His revelations of these falsehoods, fictions, fabrications and fantasies are backed by compelling evidence and cohesive argument.’
      • ‘Neither government has demonstrated any compelling evidence it will reduce borrowing anytime soon.’
      • ‘After discovering your plans, I thought for sure the compelling argument Mom and Dad gave would sway you, but it didn't.’
      • ‘The court has accepted that the appellant was convicted on the compelling evidence that was placed before the jury.’
      • ‘Despite compelling evidence, he and other officers have received no convictions.’
      • ‘A more likely reason for the present reluctance is the lack of compelling evidence that demonstrates unequivocally the failure of the standard force fields.’
      • ‘He stops short of saying they for sure should get in, but the argument is a compelling one nonetheless.’
      • ‘Even were we to judge an author's arguments as compelling or obvious, only time and the future decides whether or not they are true.’
      • ‘The result is a powerful and compelling polemic.’
      • ‘Let the film-makers first give us a compelling reason to pay attention to their work.’
      • ‘After viewing all of this evidence you would think that there is a compelling argument for the introduction of a winter break.’
      • ‘The arguments are constructive with compelling evidence to support the claims.’
      • ‘This paper has discovered a mass of compelling evidence which proves that much is wrong with both our justice system and with the politicians who administer it on our behalf.’
      convincing, persuasive, cogent, irresistible, forceful, powerful, potent, strong, weighty, plausible, credible, effective, efficacious, sound, valid, reasonable, reasoned, well reasoned, rational, well founded, telling, conclusive, irrefutable, unanswerable, authoritative, influential
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    2. 1.2Not able to be resisted; overwhelming.
      ‘the temptation to give up was compelling’
      • ‘No credible person could dispute that having impartial judges is a compelling state interest.’
      • ‘The burden shifts to the government to show a compelling interest for its policy which burdens the right, and that the policy is narrowly tailored to that compelling interest.’
      • ‘But there's a very compelling party interest, they believe, in unifying the party, so one candidate can carry the banner against the candidates.’
      • ‘Moreover, the United States has a compelling interest in learning to distinguish between constructive critics and corrupt subversives.’
      • ‘The courts have widely recognized that remedying the present effects of an institution's past discrimination is a compelling interest.’
      • ‘But there are compelling interests on the other side here.’
      • ‘The only standard I care about in advertising is accuracy - and it's the only area in which the state, as the regulator of commerce, has any sort of a compelling interest to interfere.’
      very strong, forceful, profound, uncontrollable, irrepressible, irresistible, unbearable, overpowering, oppressive, unutterable, irrefutable
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