compulsory

adjective
com·​pul·​so·​ry | \ kəm-ˈpəls-rē How to pronounce compulsory (audio) , -ˈpəl-sə-\

Definition of compulsory

1 : mandatory, enforced compulsory retirement
2 : coercive, compelling compulsory measures

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Other Words from compulsory

compulsorily \ kəm-​ˈpəls-​rə-​lē How to pronounce compulsorily (audio) , -​ˈpəl-​sə-​ \ adverb

Examples of compulsory in a Sentence

To free the mind and the heart from compulsory religious confession and observance was good for all three interested parties: the state, the church and the people. — Jon Meacham, Newsweek, 27 Jan. 2009 So he wants a private life and no photographs and nobody to know his home address. I can dig it, I can relate to that (but, like he should try it when it's compulsory instead of a free-choice option). — Salman Rushdie, New York Times Book Review, 14 Jan. 1990 He began to resent the compulsory attendance at the boring factory meetings. — James Reston, Jr., Time, 28 Nov. 1988 compulsory retirement at age 70
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Recent Examples on the Web

While compulsory chapel is a thing of the past at Deerfield and most other New England schools, prep culture still cherishes the notion that athletic competition builds character and leadership ability. Richard Mcgill Murphy, Town & Country, "Desert Prep," 17 Dec. 2012 Massachusetts isn’t a right-to-work state, so more nurses means more members and more compulsory dues. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Bad Bedside Manner in Massachusetts," 17 Oct. 2018 My advice is not to overdo it: Pace yourself; nothing is compulsory. Daisy Finer, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Golden Door Is the World's Most Iconic Spa," 21 Dec. 2018 As in Nazi Germany, work was compulsory under communism. Dominic Green, WSJ, "‘Burning Down the Haus’ Review: East German Punks," 20 Sep. 2018 The embarrassing defeat was the catalyst for the AIFF to make the wearing of boots compulsory in 1953. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 17 Weeks to Go - Did India Drop Out of 1950 Because They Refused to Wear Boots?," 25 Feb. 2018 Australian critics of compulsory voting argue that as free citizens they should be allowed to choose whether to participate. Tacey Rychter, The Seattle Times, "Australia tells America: Here’s how to fix your voting system," 22 Oct. 2018 Eritrea's system of compulsory conscription that led thousands of Eritreans to flee toward Europe, Israel and elsewhere. Jon Gambrell, Fox News, "Leaders of Ethiopia, Eritrea to sign accord in Saudi Arabia," 16 Sep. 2018 Earlier this year it was reported that some 150 schools in Britain, including schools receiving government funding, make the hijab compulsory for female students. Charlotte Allen, WSJ, "Religious Freedom and the Burqa," 23 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compulsory.' 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 compulsory

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for compulsory

see compulsion

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Last Updated

25 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for compulsory

The first known use of compulsory was in 1581

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More Definitions for compulsory

compulsory

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of compulsory

: required by a law or rule
: having the power of forcing someone to do something

compulsory

adjective
com·​pul·​so·​ry | \ kəm-ˈpəls-rē How to pronounce compulsory (audio) , -ˈpəl-sə-rē\

Kids Definition of compulsory

1 : required by or as if by law compulsory education
2 : having the power of forcing someone to do something a compulsory law

compulsory

adjective
com·​pul·​so·​ry | \ kəm-ˈpəl-sə-rē How to pronounce compulsory (audio) \

Legal Definition of compulsory

1 : required or compelled by law : mandatory, obligatory compulsory arbitration compulsory insurance specifically : required to be brought or asserted in a pleading because of having arisen from the transaction or occurrence that is the subject of litigation a compulsory counterclaim compulsory reconvention — compare elective, permissive
2 : using compulsion : compelling compulsory measures

Other Words from compulsory

compulsorily \ -​sə-​rə-​lē How to pronounce compulsorily (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on compulsory

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