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compulsory process

Compunction definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

COMPUNCTION, n. [L. To prick or sting.]
1. A pricking; stimulation; irritation; seldom used in a literal sense.
2. A pricking of heart; poignant grief or remorse proceeding from a consciousness of guilt; the pain of sorrow or regret for having offended God, and incurred his wrath; the sting of conscience proceeding from a conviction of having violated a moral duty.
He acknowledged his disloyalty to the king, with expressions of great compunction.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a feeling of deep regret (usually for some misdeed) [syn: compunction, remorse, self-reproach]

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Middle English compunccioun, from Anglo-French compunction, from Late Latin compunction-, compunctio, from Latin compungere to prick hard, sting, from com- + pungere to prick — more at pungent Date: 14th century 1. a. anxiety arising from awareness of guilt <compunctions of conscience> b. distress of mind over an anticipated action or result <showed no compunction in planning devilish engines of…destruction — Havelock Ellis> 2. a twinge of misgiving ; scruple <cheated without compunction> Synonyms: see penitence, qualmcompunctious adjective

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. (usu. with neg.) 1 the pricking of the conscience. 2 a slight regret; a scruple (without compunction; have no compunction in refusing him). Derivatives: compunctious adj. compunctiously adv. Etymology: ME f. OF componction f. eccl.L compunctio -onis f. L compungere compunct- (as com-, pungere prick)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Compunction Com*punc"tion, n. [OF. compunction, F. componction, L. compunctio, fr. compungere, compunctum, to prick; com- + pungere to prick, sting. See Pungent.] 1. A pricking; stimulation. [Obs.] That acid and piercing spirit which, with such activity and compunction, invadeth the brains and nostrils. --Sir T. Browne. 2. A picking of heart; poignant grief proceeding from a sense of guilt or consciousness of causing pain; the sting of conscience. He acknowledged his disloyalty to the king, with expressions of great compunction. --Clarendon. Syn: Compunction, Remorse, Contrition. Usage: Remorse is anguish of soul under a sense of guilt or consciousness of having offended God or brought evil upon one's self or others. Compunction is the pain occasioned by a wounded and awakened conscience. Neither of them implies true contrition, which denotes self-condemnation, humiliation, and repentance. We speak of the gnawings of remorse; of compunction for a specific act of transgression; of deep contrition in view of our past lives. See Regret.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

If you say that someone has no compunction about doing something, you mean that they do it without feeling ashamed or guilty. He has no compunction about relating how he killed his father. [disapproval]

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Repentance, remorse, contrition, penitence, sorrow, regret, misgiving, qualm, reluctance, reproach of conscience, sting of conscience.

Moby Thesaurus

attrition, bashfulness, beef, better self, bitch, boggle, boggling, boycott, challenge, complaint, conscience, conscientiousness, contriteness, contrition, demonstration, demur, demurral, demurrer, diffidence, disinclination, exception, expostulation, falter, faltering, fear, grievance, grievance committee, hesitance, hesitancy, hesitation, howl, indignation meeting, kick, march, misgiving, modesty, nonviolent protest, objection, pangs, pangs of conscience, pause, penance, penitently, picketing, pricking of heart, protest, protest demonstration, protestation, punctiliousness, qualm, qualm of conscience, qualmishness, qualms, rally, recoil, regret, reluctance, remonstrance, remonstration, remorse, repentance, reserve, rue, ruth, scruple, scruples, scrupulosity, scrupulousness, self-reproach, shrinking, shyness, sit-in, squawk, stickling, strike, teach-in, throes, touch of conscience, twinge of conscience, unwillingness, voice of conscience

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