• WordNet 3.6
    • adj compulsive strongly motivated to succeed
    • adj compulsive caused by or suggestive of psychological compulsion "compulsive drinking"
    • n compulsive a person with a compulsive disposition; someone who feels compelled to do certain things
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Compulsive or pathological sexual behavior have a 12-step program available to them through SLAA, the Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
    • a Compulsive Having power to compel; exercising or applying compulsion. "Religion is . . . inconsistent with all compulsive motives."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • compulsive Exercising compulsion; tending to compel; compulsory.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Compulsive coercive: with power to compel
    • ***


  • Aristotle
    “All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.”
  • Plato
    “Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.”
  • Bible
    “Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. [2 Corinthians 9:7]”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Kindness has more power than compulsion.”
  • Martin Buber
    Martin Buber
    “We cannot avoid using power, cannot escape the compulsion to afflict the world, so let us, cautious in diction and mighty in contradiction, love powerfully.”
  • John Milton
    “Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. compulsāre, freq. of compellĕre, to compel.


In literature:

He is not under similar compulsion to feel anger or animosity.
"Autobiography of a YOGI" by Paramhansa Yogananda
Though greatly dissatisfied with my self-compulsion, I strove to reconcile myself to its idea.
"Devereux, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
As she ceased, the expression hardened into a settled and compulsive resolution.
"Paul Clifford, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
This compulsion was every day more intolerable.
"Parisians in the Country" by Honore de Balzac
And this compulsion is not physical but moral.
"The Mystery of Cloomber" by Arthur Conan Doyle
In the early days of the Bitchun Society, I'd known a blackjack player, a compulsive counter of cards, an idiot savant of odds.
"Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" by Cory Doctorow
Lady Fanny was there upon compulsion, a sulky bridesmaid.
"The Virginians" by William Makepeace Thackeray
There was no compulsion.
"Frenzied Fiction" by Stephen Leacock
What is the meaning of all this compulsion?
"Imogen" by William Godwin
You will find him (in the presumption of being forgiven) 'full of contrivances and expedients for my escaping my threatened compulsion.
"Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)" by Samuel Richardson

In poetry:

"For years I've longed for some
Excuse for this revulsion:
Now that excuse has come -
I do it on compulsion!!!"
"The Rival Curates" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Is he so goaded by the green?
Does the compulsion of the dew
Make him unknowable but keen
Asking with beauty of the blue?
"The Orange Tree" by John Shaw Neilson
When Law's compulsive angels sweep
A sun unknown athwart thy path;
When hands resistless wake the wrath
That smites to flame the boiling Deep!
"The Testimony of the Suns" by George Sterling
No will of your own with its puny compulsion
Can summon the spirit that quickens the lyre;
It comes, if at all, like the Sibyl's convulsion
And touches the brain with a finger of fire.
"A Familiar Letter" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
The mountain ahead of the world is not forming but fixed. But
the man's words would be fixed also,
Part of that mountain, under equal compulsion; under the same
present compulsion in the iron consistency.
"Meditation On Saviors" by Robinson Jeffers
To hold men together by paper and seal, or by compulsion, is no
That only holds men together which aggregates all in a living
principle, as the hold of the limbs of the body, or the fibres
of plants.
"As I Sat Alone" by Walt Whitman

In news:

Worry about contamination from germs and hand washing is the classic compulsion , but there are lots of others.
In the cases where there seems to only be a compulsion , would you say that it is probably linked to some other disorder.
' Compulsive Liar' Florida Mother Arrested in Toddler's Disappearance Last Month.
The Latest on Compulsive Overeating.
As geniuses tend to be, Edgar Degas was a compulsive revisionist.
And she hopes they somehow reach the wearer, "this is why I knit and dye yarns an almost compulsive need to make physical my feelings so that I may share them.".
Make-up is a funny old thing in that, apart from the obvious oddities, it has the potential to turn us into compulsive liars.
But to be honest, this compulsion often goes uncalculated.
Readers' Choice: Wag n' Wash. You can blame our unbridled love of and compulsive need to spoil our pets on watching too many Disney movies featuring talking animals when we were kids.
For some time now, the Bundesliga matches have been compulsively enjoyable.
Do you have a problem with compulsive hoarding.
Tiger Woods' philandering has talking heads talking about compulsive sex.
As a compulsive pedestrian I savor places to walk the way a dedicated oenophile savors fine wine.
Meet the newest odd couple in the early reader section: fussy, compulsive Rabbit and overly logical Robot.
But as detectives talked to Christie's friends, as they learned just how compulsively neat she was, they began to see the cigarettes as a useful clue.

In science:

The compulsive revisits insure that the targets in different parts of networks can fin ally be found.
Walks on Apollonian networks
Success engenders a fantasy and a compulsive groping for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Music in Terms of Science
It can be seen that in the absence of shift for any length R of the cavity wing ∆x/a = 0 there is the maximum of compulsion depending on the angle ϕ.
Casimir expulsion of shifted configurations
But under classical theory photons are not mentioned, and although it is common to choose detector settings so that the probability of detection is as nearly as possible proportional to the intensity, there is no compulsion to assume perfect linearity.
Subtraction of ``accidentals'' and the validity of Bell tests