compunction

[kuhm-puhngk-shuhn]
noun
1.
a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of the conscience caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain; contrition; remorse.
2.
any uneasiness or hesitation about the rightness of an action.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English compunccion (< Anglo-French) < Late Latin compūnctiōn- (stem of compūnctiō), equivalent to Latin compūnct(us), past participle of compungere to prick severely (com- com- + pungere to prick; cf. point) + -iōn- -ion

compunctionless, adjective

compulsion, compunction.
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World English Dictionary
compunction (kəmˈpʌŋkʃən)
 
n
a feeling of remorse, guilt, or regret
 
[C14: from Church Latin compunctiō, from Latin compungere to sting, from com- (intensive) + pungere to puncture; see point]
 
com'punctious
 
adj
 
com'punctiously
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

compunction
mid-14c., from O.Fr. compunction (12c.), from L.L. compunctionem (nom. compunctio) "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."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
She has a folk singer's air of resourceful humility and no compunctions about approaching other people's songs.
He had no compunctions about implying that the shooting was justified.
First, but in our society, moral compunctions are not nearly so effective as economic.
Spouses realize eventually that you were not trying to harm them, but co-workers have no such compunctions.
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