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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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

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  • However, they do tend toward certain compulsive behaviors.

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

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  • 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.

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  • (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.)

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

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  • Cell phone dependency is now called compulsive communicating.

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