pertaining to, characterized by, or involving compulsion: a compulsive desire to cry.
governed by an obsessive need to conform, be scrupulous, etc., coupled with an inability to express positive emotions.
Psychology. a person whose behavior is governed by a compulsion.
- com·pul·sive·ly, adverb
- com·pul·sive·ness, com·pul·siv·i·ty [kuhm-puhl-siv-i-tee, kom-puhl-], /kəm pʌlˈsɪv ɪ ti, ˌkɒm pʌl-/, noun
- non·com·pul·sive, adjective
- non·com·pul·sive·ly, adverb
- qua·si-com·pul·sive, adjective
- qua·si-com·pul·sive·ly, adverb
- un·com·pul·sive, adjective
- un·com·pul·sive·ly, adverb
- compulsive , impulsive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use compulsive in a sentence
Fluvoxamine, which is sold as Luvox, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, typically prescribed for obsessive-compulsive disorder.The antidepressant fluvoxamine could keep mild COVID-19 from worsening | Esther Landhuis | February 1, 2021 | Science News
By that point, worry about my health, specifically obsessive-compulsive disorder, had become too painful to ignore.Coronavirus is testing those of us with anxiety. We need to have mental health help available when the pandemic ends. | Sarah Vander Schaaff | January 30, 2021 | Washington Post
The good news is that even if you don’t have a lot of it, or you have too much of it and you’re obsessive-compulsive, you can change.
I’ve heard stories of constant “twitching,” or compulsive bird chasing, nearly ending serious romantic relationships.
This inscription has been my compulsive form of protest since the mid-’90s.A South Dakota Story: Andrew Jackson, Indian Killer | Eugene Robinson | November 26, 2020 | Ozy
Yet somehow the drama of the tiny moments of her utterly ordinary life keep you turning pages compulsively.Colm Toibin Describes The Creation Of His Quiet Masterpiece ‘Nora Webster’ | Jennie Yabroff | November 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Prisoners there became severely depressed: some began to compulsively mutilate themselves; others attempted suicide.
Have you been compulsively checking to see if white smoke has billowed from the Sistine Chapel yet?Your Guide to Pope-Picking: Conclave Songs, Livefeeds, Betting & More | Nina Strochlic | March 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Put aside Santorum, who compulsively froths, and Romney who (to reverse a Hebrew saying) is always a weathervane, never a compass.
She hoarded water compulsively and was consumed with panic that her baby might not survive.
Neither State nor National Government is dependent one upon the other, he said; neither can act "compulsively" upon the other.The Life of John Marshall Volume 4 of 4 | Albert J. Beveridge
Other women might compulsively finish concealing themselves before snatching up the gun.The Old Die Rich | Horace Leonard Gold
She is spotless, obsessively purgatory, and compulsively tidy.After the Rain | Sam Vaknin
The government compulsively contracted the press by their twenty stationary printers; and behold!Amenities of Literature | Isaac Disraeli
I compulsively tell friends and strangers about things that I like.Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom | Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for compulsive
relating to or involving compulsion
psychiatry an individual who is subject to a psychological compulsion
- compulsively, adverb
- compulsiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012