Definition of compulsive adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kəmˈpʌlsɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəmˈpʌlsɪv//
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  1. 1(of behaviour) that is difficult to stop or control compulsive eating/spending/gambling
  2. 2(of people) not being able to control their behaviour a compulsive drinker/gambler/liar
  3. 3that makes you pay attention to it because it is so interesting and exciting The programme made compulsive viewing.
  4. Word Originlate 16th cent. (in the sense ‘compulsory’): from medieval Latin compulsivus, from compuls- ‘driven, forced’, from the verb compellere, from com- ‘together’ + pellere ‘drive’. Sense (1) (originally a term in psychology) dates from the early 20th cent.Extra examples He was a compulsive gambler. His family had been unaware of his compulsive gambling. She went through periods of compulsive overeating. The accused had a compulsive urge to drive at excessive speed. The book offers advice and help for compulsive eaters. We are able to put compulsive spenders in touch with debt counsellors.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: compulsive

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