noun, 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.

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 formscom·pul·so·ri·ly, adverbcom·pul·so·ri·ness, nounnon·com·pul·so·ri·ly, adverbnon·com·pul·so·ri·ly·ness, nounnon·com·pul·so·ry, adjectivequa·si-com·pul·so·ri·ly, adverbqua·si-com·pul·so·ry, adjectiveun·com·pul·so·ry, adjective

Antonyms for compulsory

1, 2. voluntary. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for quasi-compulsory


  1. required by regulations or laws; obligatorycompulsory education
  2. 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 quasi-compulsory



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper