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Definition of "compulsion" []

  • The act of compelling. (noun)
  • The state of being compelled. (noun)
  • An irresistible impulse to act, regardless of the rationality of the motivation: "The compulsion to protect the powerful from the discomfort of public disclosure feeds further abuse and neglect” ( Boston Globe). (noun)
  • An act or acts performed in response to such an impulse. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "compulsion" in a sentence
  • "But that their realization requires compulsion, and _compulsion in the form of a dictatorship_, is ordinarily not comprehended."
  • "Because I realize that the compulsion is almost irresistable."
  • "But Faust cannot turn away from the awful figure of his lost love, and his compulsion is the sign that he has not abandoned his inspiration."