These verbs mean[:]
to cause a person or thing to follow a prescribed or dictated course.
- Force, the most general, usually implies the exertion of physical power or the operation of circumstances that permit no options:
... Tear gas forced the fugitives out of their hiding place.
- Compel applies especially to an act dictated by one in authority:
... Say nothing unless you're compelled to.
- Coerce invariably implies the use of strength or harsh measures in securing compliance:
... "The man of genius rules . . . by persuading an efficient minority to coerce an indifferent and self-indulgent majority" (James Fitzjames Stephen).
- Constrain suggests that one is bound to a course of action by physical or moral means or by the operation of compelling circumstances:
... "I will never be by violence constrained to do anything" (Elizabeth I).
- Oblige implies the operation of authority, necessity, or moral or ethical considerations:
... "Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do" (Mark Twain).
- Obligate applies when compliance is enforced by a legal contract or by the dictates of one's conscience or sense of propriety:
... I am obligated to repay the loan.
.... The American Heritage
Obligate, obligated to do something:
- The ruling obligates airlines to release information about their flight delays.
- He felt obligated to help.
verb| If something obligates you to do a particular thing, it creates a situation where you have to do it.[ FORMAL ]
adjective| obligated (to do something): having a moral or legal duty to do something
verb| 1. To bind, compel, or constrain by a social, legal, or moral tie.
.... Cobuild, OALD, The American Heritage