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

Voter turnout was just 58%, even though voting is compulsory in Greece. Eshe Nelson, Quartz, "Out with the new, in with the old: Greeks hand power back to the conservatives," 8 July 2019 While elementary and middle school are compulsory and free in some parts of West Africa, tuition-free high school is rare. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, "In Ghana, Free High School Brings Opportunity and Grumbling," 15 June 2019 This seeming endorsement of Stalin’s strategy was not part of the compulsory edits foisted upon Grossman. Aaron Lake Smith, Harper's magazine, "The Trials of Vasily Grossman," 24 June 2019 The compulsory requires a bit more balance and agility. Tyra Mcclung, courant.com, "A double-dutch championship has returned to Connecticut and there are high hopes for the future of the sport here," 15 June 2019 Most professional athletes treat their media obligations as a compulsory nuisance; some convey their annoyance by being terse or snarky. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "The Profound Silence of Marshawn Lynch," 14 June 2019 India in 2016 amended rules, making the death penalty compulsory if a hijack attempt results in the death of a hostage or security personnel. Bloomberg News, The Mercury News, "Indian air passenger jailed for life over hijacking hoax," 12 June 2019 The national push to check union power was dealt a rare blow Tuesday when voters in Missouri rejected a right-to-work law that would have prevented private-sector unions from collecting compulsory fees from workers who do not join. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Missouri voters reject right-to-work law in rare win for unions," 2 Oct. 2018 Australia has made voting compulsory, so pollsters’ surveys of Australians’ party preferences usually come close to the election result. Trevor Marshallsea, The Seattle Times, "Australia’s leader vows to get back to work after shock win," 19 May 2019

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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Statistics for compulsory

Last Updated

15 Jul 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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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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