compulsive

[ kuh m-puhl-siv ]
/ kəmˈpʌl sɪv /
|

adjective

compelling; compulsory.
Psychology.
  1. pertaining to, characterized by, or involving compulsion: a compulsive desire to cry.
  2. governed by an obsessive need to conform, be scrupulous, etc., coupled with an inability to express positive emotions.

noun

Psychology. a person whose behavior is governed by a compulsion.

Nearby words

  1. compton-burnett,
  2. comptroller,
  3. comptroller general of the united states,
  4. comptroller of the currency,
  5. compulsion,
  6. compulsive personality,
  7. compulsively,
  8. compulsory,
  9. compulsory purchase,
  10. compunction

Origin of compulsive

1595–1605; obsolete compulse v. (< Latin compuls(us), past participle of compellere; see compulsion) + -ive

Related forms
Can be confusedcompulsive impulsive impetuous (see synonym study at impetuous)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for compulsiveness



British Dictionary definitions for compulsiveness

compulsive

/ (kəmˈpʌlsɪv) /

adjective

relating to or involving compulsion

noun

psychiatry an individual who is subject to a psychological compulsion
Derived Formscompulsively, adverbcompulsiveness, 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

Word Origin and History for compulsiveness

compulsive

adj.

c.1600, from French compulsif, from Latin compulsus, past participle of compellere (see compel). Psychological sense is from 1902. As a noun, attested from 1630s; psychological sense from 1957. Related: Compulsively; compulsiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for compulsiveness

compulsive

[ kəm-pŭlsĭv ]

adj.

Caused or conditioned by compulsion or obsession.

n.

A person with behavior patterns governed by a compulsion.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.