Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “compulsory”

compulsory

adjective uk   /kəmˈpʌl.sər.i/ us    /-sɚ-/
B2 If something is compulsory, you must do it because of a rule or law: Swimming was compulsory at my school. The law made wearing seat belts in cars compulsory.Court cases, orders and decisionsDuty, obligation and responsibility
compulsorily
adverb uk   /-əl.i/ us  
Patients can now be compulsorily detained in hospital only under tightly drawn criteria.Court cases, orders and decisionsDuty, obligation and responsibility
(Definition of compulsory from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of compulsory?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Court cases, orders & decisions, but you might be interested in these topics from the Trials and court cases topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “compulsory”

Definitions of “compulsory” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

workmanship

the skill with which something was made or done

Word of the Day

Blog

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