[ kuhm-puhl-suh-ree ]
/ kəmˈpʌl sə ri /


required; mandatory; obligatory: compulsory education.
using compulsion; compelling; constraining: compulsory measures to control rioting.

noun, plural com·pul·so·ries.

something, as an athletic feat, that must be performed or completed as part of a contest or competition: The ice skater received a higher score on the compulsories than on her freestyle performance.


Origin of compulsory

1510–20; < Medieval Latin compulsōrius, equivalent to Latin compul-, variant stem of compellere (see compel) + -sōrius, for -tōrius -tory1; cf. compulsive
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for compulsorily

British Dictionary definitions for compulsorily


/ (kəmˈpʌlsərɪ) /


required by regulations or laws; obligatorycompulsory education
involving or employing compulsion; compelling; necessary; essential
Derived Formscompulsorily, adverbcompulsoriness, 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 compulsorily



1580s, from Medieval Latin compulsorius, from Latin compulsus, past participle of compellere (see compel).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper