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compulsive

[ kuhm-puhl-siv ]
/ kəmˈpʌl sɪv /
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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

First recorded in 1595–1605; obsolete compulse, verb (from Latin compuls(us), past participle of compellere; see compulsion) + -ive

OTHER WORDS FROM compulsive

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH compulsive

compulsive , impulsive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use compulsive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for compulsive

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 compulsive

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.
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