mid-14c., from O.Fr. compunction
(12c.), from L.L. compunctionem
) "a pricking" (of conscience), from L. compunctus,
pp. of compungere
"to severely prick, sting," from com-
intensive prefix + pungere
"to prick" (see pungent
). Used in figurative sense by early Church writers. Originally a much more intense feeling, similar to "remorse," or "contrition."