Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: Late Latin compulsio, from Latin compellere; COMPEL


1 [countable] a strong and unreasonable desire to do something [↪ compel]:
The desire to laugh became a compulsion.
compulsion to do something
Leith felt an overwhelming compulsion to tell him the truth.
the compulsion to smoke or eat too much
2 [singular, uncountable] the act of forcing or influencing someone to do something they do not want to do [↪ compel]
under (no) compulsion to do something
Owners are under no compulsion to sell their land.
The use of compulsion in psychiatric care cannot be justified.

Dictionary results for "compulsion"
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