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Word of the Day
Monday, October 24, 2016

Definitions for compunction

  1. a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of the conscience caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain; contrition; remorse.
  2. any uneasiness or hesitation about the rightness of an action.

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Citations for compunction
It might be supposed that he would feel some compunction at robbing his stepmother of her all. Whatever her faults, she was devoted to him. But Willis Ford had a hard, selfish nature, and the only thought that troubled him was the fear that he might be found out. Horatio Alger Jr., Helping Himself, 1886
He had just compunction enough for having done nothing for his sisters himself, to be exceedingly anxious that everybody else should do a great deal ... Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility, 1811
Origin of compunction
Compunction can be traced to the Latin verb compungere meaning "to sting, prick severely." Christian writers used the word to mean "the sting of conscience." It entered English in the mid-1300s.
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