Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “compulsion”


noun [C] (WANT)    /kəmˈpʌl.ʃən/
a very strong feeling of wanting to do something repeatedly that is difficult to control : For many people , dieting is a compulsion. [+ to infinitive] I seem to have a constant compulsion to eat .Feelings of desire
(Definition of compulsion noun (WANT) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of compulsion

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Feelings of desire, but you might be interested in these topics from the Wanting topic area:

More definitions for “compulsion”

Definitions of “compulsion” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a situation in which two people are friends

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More