compulsion

[kuhm-puhl-shuhn]
noun
1.
the act of compelling; constraint; coercion.
2.
the state or condition of being compelled.
3.
Psychology. a strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act, especially one that is irrational or contrary to one's will.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Late Latin compulsiōn- (stem of compulsiō), equivalent to Latin compuls(us), past participle of compellere to compel (com- com- + pul- variant stem + -sus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion

noncompulsion, noun
precompulsion, noun

compulsion, compunction.
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World English Dictionary
compulsion (kəmˈpʌlʃən)
 
n
1.  the act of compelling or the state of being compelled
2.  something that compels
3.  psychiatry See also obsession an inner drive that causes a person to perform actions, often of a trivial and repetitive nature, against his or her will
 
[C15: from Old French, from Latin compellere to compel]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

compulsion
1462, from M.Fr. compulsion, from L. compulsionem (nom. compulsio), from compulsus, pp. of compellere "compel" (see compel). Psychological sense is from 1909 in A.A. Brill's translation of Freud's "Selected Papers on Hysteria," where Ger. Zwangsneurose is rendered as compulsion neurosis.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

compulsion com·pul·sion (kəm-pŭl'shən)
n.
An uncontrollable impulse to perform an act, often repetitively, as an unconscious mechanism to avoid unacceptable ideas and desires which, by themselves, arouse anxiety.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

compulsion definition


In psychology, an internal force that leads persons to act against their will. A “compulsive” act cannot be controlled: “Smith was a compulsive gambler.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Even in compulsion neuroses, which retain the same fundamentals, much is found
  that is different.
Any measures designed to restrict human population growth directly must involve
  compulsion to be effective.
It is used in chess when compulsion to make a move leads to the loss.
And she didn't actually feel a compulsion to pull out her hair.
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