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.

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Origin of compulsive

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

OTHER WORDS FROM compulsive

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH compulsive

compulsive impulsive impetuous (see synonym study at impetuous)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for compulsivity

compulsive
/ (kəmˈpʌlsɪv) /

adjective

relating to or involving compulsion

noun

psychiatry an individual who is subject to a psychological compulsion

Derived forms of compulsive

compulsively, 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

Medical definitions for compulsivity

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.