American English

Definition of compulsion noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] compulsion (to do something) a strong desire to do something, especially something that is wrong, silly, or dangerous synonym urge He felt a great compulsion to tell her everything. Obsessions and compulsions often develop in people who live stressful lives.
  2. 2[uncountable, countable] strong pressure that makes someone do something that they do not want to do compulsion (to do something) You are under no compulsion to pay immediately. compulsion (on somebody) to do something There are no compulsions on students to attend classes. The legal system is based on compulsion. see also compel
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: compulsion