- When you are required to attend an event, this is an example of a time when you attend because of a compulsion to attend.
- When you feel an unstoppable urge to have a cigarette, this is an example of a time when you feel a compulsion to smoke.
- a compelling or being compelled; coercion; constraint
- that which compels; driving force
- Psychol. an irresistible, repeated, irrational impulse to perform some act
Origin of compulsionMiddle English and Late Latin compulsio from Classical Latin compulsus, past participle of compellere: see compel
- a. The act of compelling.b. The state of being compelled.
- An irresistible impulse to act, regardless of the rationality of the motivation: “He felt an animal compulsion to flee the hotel and the city” ( Paul Theroux )
- Psychiatry An act or ritual that a person feels compelled to perform repeatedly, often to reduce the distress caused by an obsession.
Origin of compulsionMiddle English from Old French from Late Latin compulsiō compulsiōn- from Latin compulsus past participle of compellere to compel ; see compel.
From Middle French compulsion, from Late Latin compulsiō, from Latin compellere (“to compel, coerce”); see compel.