View synonyms for compulsory


[ kuhm-puhl-suh-ree ]


  1. required; mandatory; obligatory:

    compulsory education.

    Antonyms: voluntary

  2. using compulsion; compelling; constraining:

    compulsory measures to control rioting.

    Antonyms: voluntary


, plural com·pul·so·ries.
  1. 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.


/ kəmˈpʌlsərɪ /


  1. required by regulations or laws; obligatory

    compulsory education

  2. involving or employing compulsion; compelling; necessary; essential
“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

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Derived Forms

  • comˈpulsorily, adverb
  • comˈpulsoriness, noun
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Other Words From

  • com·pulso·ri·ly adverb
  • com·pulso·ri·ness noun
  • noncom·pulso·ri·ly adverb
  • noncom·pulso·ri·ly·ness noun
  • noncom·pulso·ry adjective
  • quasi-com·pulso·ri·ly adverb
  • quasi-com·pulso·ry adjective
  • uncom·pulso·ry adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of compulsory1

1510–20; < Medieval Latin compulsōrius, equivalent to Latin compul-, variant stem of compellere ( compel ) + -sōrius, for -tōrius -tory 1; compulsive
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Example Sentences

Respect for the principle of non-discrimination is more fundamental than ever since vaccination is not compulsory and access to the vaccine is not yet generalised.

From Time

Not all national supermarket chains have responded to the increasing demand for compulsory hazard pay bonuses with store closures or political pressure.

From Eater

About 20% of the company’s 250 staffers were already remote before the coronavirus pandemic, but even when staffers who were previously in offices can safely return, attendance won’t be compulsory.

From Digiday

The compulsory spousal exchanges have created some of the tightest alliances ever recorded, currently totaling about 30,000 Amazonian souls.

In August, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested on a radio show that he would make a vaccine compulsory for all Australians, though he later walked back the comments.

From Fortune

They had three years together before Ziad left to do his compulsory military service, leaving on her birthday, April 4, 2001.

It is compulsory to note in every Kansas story that “the race may decide who controls the Senate.”

The newest pro-gun propaganda: Make firearm education compulsory in schools and create gun-required zones.

Compulsory dues translate into many tens of millions of dollars in political contributions to Democrats.

At Nansen Elementary School, music has been removed from the curriculum and Arabic lessons made compulsory.

On nearly all railways retirement is optional at sixty and compulsory at sixty-five.

It was probably the first case in Philippine history of a person voluntarily seeking compulsory expulsion from the Islands.

By direction of the Ministry of Education, compulsory religious instruction is being introduced in the State schools.

It is more to count on the universal mind than to brave compulsory public decency.

The fact of compulsory education created a proletariat able and willing to read.





compulsivecompulsory purchase