compunction


com·punc·tion

noun \kəm-ˈpəŋ(k)-shən\

: a feeling of guilt or regret ( chiefly US )

Full Definition of COMPUNCTION

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>
com·punc·tious \-shəs\ adjective

Examples of COMPUNCTION

  1. a brutal murderer who killed without compunction
  2. He feels no compunction about his crimes.
  3. He has no compunctions about his crimes.

Origin of COMPUNCTION

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
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with COMPUNCTION

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: compunctionless
Previous Word in the Dictionary: compulsory listing
All Words Near: compunction

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up compunction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).