- The definition of compunction is a strong feeling of uneasiness caused by guilt.
An example of compunction is the feeling a teenager gets when returning to their house after sneaking out and realizing their mom is awake.
compunction definition by Webster's New World
- a sharp feeling of uneasiness brought on by a sense of guilt; remorse
- a feeling of slight regret for something done
Origin: Middle English compunccion ; from Old French compunction ; from Late Latin compunctio, a pricking (in Ecclesiastical Late Latin the pricking of conscience) ; from Classical Latin compunctus, past participle of compungere, to prick, sting ; from com-, intensive plush pungere, to prick: see point
compunction definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A strong uneasiness caused by a sense of guilt. See Synonyms at penitence.
- A sting of conscience or a pang of doubt aroused by wrongdoing or the prospect of wrongdoing. See Synonyms at qualm.
Origin: Middle English compunccioun, from Old French componction, from Late Latin compūnctiō, compūnctiōn-, puncture, sting of conscience, from Latin compūnctus, past participle of compungere, to sting : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + pungere, to prick; see peuk- in Indo-European roots.
- com·puncˈtious adjective
- com·puncˈtious·ly adverb