What does compulsion mean?

Definitions for compulsion
kəmˈpʌl ʃəncom·pul·sion

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word compulsion.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. compulsion, irresistible impulsenoun

    an urge to do or say something that might be better left undone or unsaid

    "he felt a compulsion to babble on about the accident"

  2. compulsion, obsessionnoun

    an irrational motive for performing trivial or repetitive actions, even against your will

    "her compulsion to wash her hands repeatedly"

  3. compulsion, coercionnoun

    using force to cause something to occur

    "though pressed into rugby under compulsion I began to enjoy the game"; "they didn't have to use coercion"


  1. compulsionnoun

    An irrational need to perform some action, often despite negative consequences.

    During the basketball game, I had a sudden compulsion to have a smoke.

    Etymology: From compulsio, from compellere; see compel.

  2. compulsionnoun

    The use of authority, influence, or other power to force (compel) a person or persons to act.

    Etymology: From compulsio, from compellere; see compel.

  3. compulsionnoun

    The lawful use of violence (i.e. by the administration).

    Etymology: From compulsio, from compellere; see compel.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Compulsionnoun

    the act of compelling, or the state of being compelled; the act of driving or urging by force or by physical or moral constraint; subjection to force


  1. Compulsion

    Compulsion was an Irish punk band. They formed in the 1990 by Josephmary and Sid Rainey as Thee Amazing Colossal Men. They signed a recording contract with Virgin Records, but after winning a lawsuit against their record label, they became 'Compulsion' in 1992. Joined by guitarist Garret Lee and drummer Jan-Willem Alkema, they moved to North London and signed to One Little Indian. They released several EPs and two albums. The first, Comforter, was labelled by the NME as part of the "New Wave of New Wave", while the second, The Future is Medium, saw them sport identical black outfits and orange hairdos. The group split in 1996, after which Lee formed Jacknife Lee, and later produced Snow Patrol and U2. Alkema joined China Drum and later Driven to Collision. Rainey is now a writer and has created and produced an animated children's TV series called Underground Ernie for the BBC. Josephmary now lives in Ireland.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. compulsion

    Is a constraint upon the will whereby an officer is urged to that which his judgment disapproves, and which, it is to be presumed, his will (if left to itself) would reject. As punishments are, therefore, only inflicted for the abuse of that free will which God has given to man, it is highly just and equitable that an officer should be excused for those acts which are done through unavoidable force and compulsion.

Suggested Resources

  1. compulsion

    Song lyrics by compulsion -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by compulsion on the Lyrics.com website.

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How to pronounce compulsion?

How to say compulsion in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of compulsion in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of compulsion in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of compulsion in a Sentence

  1. Aristotle:

    All human actions have one or more of these seven causes chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.

  2. Plato:

    Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.

  3. Epictetus:

    He is free who lives as he wishes to live; who is neither subject to compulsion nor to hindrance, nor to force; whose movements to action are not impeded, whose desires attain their purpose, and who does not fall into that which he would avoid.

  4. Steven Mosher:

    China has set up a deadly demographic trap for itself, condemning itself to low or no growth for years to come, regardless of how many babies they can, using persuasion or compulsion, get young women to bear.

  5. Judge James Burke:

    Lack of consent results from forcible compulsion or circumstances under which at the time of the act of intercourse, the complainant clearly expressed that she did not consent to engage in such act and a reasonable person in the defendant's situation would have understood the complainant's words and acts as an expression of lack of consent to such act under all the circumstances.

Images & Illustrations of compulsion

  1. compulsioncompulsioncompulsioncompulsioncompulsion

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Translations for compulsion

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    (music) a curved line spanning notes that are to be played legato
    • A. instigation
    • B. slur
    • C. flunkey
    • D. swag

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