• (British) IPA: /kəmˈpʌl.ʃən/
  • (America) IPA: /kəmˈpʌl.ʃən/


  1. An irrational need or irresistible urge to perform some action, often despite negative consequences.
    During the basketball game, I had a sudden compulsion to have a smoke.
  2. The use of authority, influence, or other power to force (compel) a person or persons to act.
    • 2016 January 17, "Wealthy cabals run America ↗," Al Jazeera America (retrieved 18 January 2016):
      But Treaty translator and Ottawa leader Andrew Blackbird described the Treaty as made “not with the free will of the Indians, but by compulsion.”
  3. The lawful use of violence (i.e. by the administration).
Related terms Translations
  • German: Zwang, Zwangneurose (psychology)
  • Portuguese: compulsão
  • Russian: (необъяснимый) позыв
  • Spanish: compulsión
Translations Translations

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