compulsive

adjective
com·​pul·​sive | \ kəm-ˈpəl-siv How to pronounce compulsive (audio) \

Definition of compulsive

1 : having power to compel forced to resort to compulsive measures
2 : of, relating to, caused by, or suggestive of psychological compulsion or obsession compulsive actions a compulsive gambler compulsive eating

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Other Words from compulsive

compulsively adverb
compulsiveness noun
compulsivity \ kəm-​ˌpəl-​ˈsi-​və-​tē How to pronounce compulsive (audio) , ˌkäm-​ \ noun

Examples of compulsive in a Sentence

his compulsive clowning around can sometimes be annoying
Recent Examples on the Web The condition is linked to obsessive compulsive disorder but can also be a coping mechanism to deal with stress. Brienne Walsh, Forbes, 8 June 2021 The Secret Service looked the other way as President Bill Clinton’s compulsive womanizing created security risks (as the agency did previously with Kennedy’s womanizing), and top agents were repeatedly embroiled in embarrassing affairs of their own. Washington Post, 14 May 2021 But your wife’s compulsive smartphone use seems beyond the point of reason. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 26 June 2021 But your wife’s compulsive smartphone use seems beyond the point of reason. cleveland, 26 June 2021 Research shows that self-exclusion can be useful in controlling compulsive gambling but is under-utilized by those with addiction. Alex Putterman, courant.com, 21 June 2021 The brain science behind compulsive social media use is clear. John Brandon, Forbes, 20 June 2021 The drug is a treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder that Exscientia is developing with Japan’s Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 15 June 2021 Mandel, 65, and Shultz, 36, both suffer from anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, afflictions the TV personality has dealt with nearly his whole life. Aili Nahas, PEOPLE.com, 9 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compulsive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of compulsive

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for compulsive

borrowed from Medieval Latin compulsīvus, from Latin compulsus, past participle of compellere "to drive together, force to go, force (to a view, course of action)" + -īvus -ive — more at compel

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Time Traveler for compulsive

Time Traveler

The first known use of compulsive was in 1588

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Statistics for compulsive

Last Updated

14 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Compulsive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compulsive. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for compulsive

compulsive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of compulsive

: caused by a desire that is too strong to resist : impossible to stop or control
: not able to stop or control doing something
chiefly British : very interesting

compulsive

adjective
com·​pul·​sive | \ -ˈpəl-siv How to pronounce compulsive (audio) \

Medical Definition of compulsive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, caused by, or suggestive of psychological compulsion or obsession repetitive and compulsive behavior compulsive hoarding a compulsive gambler

Other Words from compulsive

compulsively adverb
compulsiveness noun
compulsivity \ kəm-​ˌpəl-​ˈsiv-​ət-​ē, ˌkäm-​ How to pronounce compulsive (audio) \ noun, plural compulsivities
Prozac, which increases the amount of serotonin sloshing around brain circuits, seems to reduce the compulsivity of autism. — Karen Springen, Newsweek, 13 May 1996

compulsive

noun

Medical Definition of compulsive (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who is subject to a psychological compulsion

More from Merriam-Webster on compulsive

Nglish: Translation of compulsive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compulsive for Arabic Speakers

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