Therese asked about
words ending in the letter sequence –p-e-l-. The ones that are intimately
connected track back to a Latin verb, pellĕre. It means to drive or thrust, an action verb.
Certain words, such as
chapel and gospel, don’t come from the same Latin word even though they share
the same letter sequence. The ones that do tend to be relatively short, and
they all begin with an opening preposition.
- compel: To constrain or force < com-, together + pellĕre, to drive >
- dispel: To drive away in different directions or in
scattered order < dis-, in different directions + pellĕre, to drive >
- expel: To drive or thrust out; to eject by
force < ex-, out + pellĕre, to drive or thrust >
- impel: To drive, force, or constrain (a
person) to some action
< im-, in + pellĕre, to drive
- propel: To drive or push forwards < prō-, forward + pellĕre, to drive >
- repel: To reject or thrust away < re-, back + pellĕre, to drive >
Also connected is the
now obsolete interpel, to interrupt (a person) in speaking < inter, between + pellĕre, to drive >
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