Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having the capacity to compel: a frightening, compulsive novel.
  • adj. Psychology Caused or conditioned by compulsion or obsession.
  • n. A person with behavior patterns governed by a compulsion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. uncontrolled or reactive and unconscious
  • adj. Having power to compel; exercising or applying compulsion.
  • n. One who exhibits compulsive behaviours.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having power to compel; exercising or applying compulsion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Exercising compulsion; tending to compel; compulsory.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. strongly motivated to succeed
  • adj. caused by or suggestive of psychological compulsion
  • n. a person with a compulsive disposition; someone who feels compelled to do certain things

Etymologies

From Latin compulsus, past participle of compellere ("to compel"), from com- ("together") + pellere ("to drive"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • TO THE ZEEs: Sorry to see you made what I label a compulsive decision.

    Kiplinger Personal Finance

  • However, they do tend toward certain compulsive behaviors.

    Push Movie Trailer | /Film

  • Food obsession falls under the form of self-sabotage I call compulsive self-sabotage, the hardest kind of self-destruction to shake.

    The Truth About Beauty

  • The classic definition of an obsessive-compulsive is a person who repeats the same unsuccessful behavior over and over hoping that it will work this time or that mere repetition will bestow good fortune.

    Borders suck

  • (I consign to parentheses the equally problematic issue of race, although few readers familiar with Austen will want to ignore the near-hysterical irruption of "the slave-trade" into one of Jane Fairfax's earlier conversations [271], as if in compulsive, belated echo of the formidable subtext haunting Mansfield Park.)

    Saying What One Thinks: Emma--_Emma_--at Box Hill

  • What most people consider occasional thoughts or pursuits rivet the neural arousal system of the genius, the collector, and the artist, who vent their obsessions in compulsive activity.

    How We Become What We Are

  • If this view is correct, we can then derive a simple model: (1) genetic anomalies introduce defects into the structure of the reward cascade and (2) defects in the reward cascade cause behavioral distortions that we call compulsive diseases.

    Alcohol and The Addictive Brain

  • Binge eating disorder is a relatively recently recognized disorder (it is sometimes referred to as compulsive overeating).

    WN.com - Articles related to Food addiction 101: What is food addiction?

  • But showing off your hometown to a foreigner, someone who stops and stares and snaps photos in a manner that can only be described as compulsive, is always a revelation.

    Chloe Angyal - The Importance of Empathy

  • Cell phone dependency is now called compulsive communicating.

    CELL PHONE ANTIPHONY « Technology Literacy Articles « Articles « Literacy News

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