ob·​ses·​sive-com·​pul·​sive äb-ˈse-siv-kəm-ˈpəl-siv How to pronounce obsessive-compulsive (audio)
: relating to or characterized by recurring obsessions and compulsions especially as symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder
an obsessive-compulsive personality
obsessive-compulsive behavior
obsessive-compulsive noun

Examples of obsessive-compulsive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Everyone’s favorite obsessive-compulsive detective is returning for what may be his final case. Jp Mangalindan, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2023 Studies suggest that many kinds of neurodiversity, including ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and substance abuse, correlate with high performance in business environments. Matthew Heimer, Fortune, 1 Nov. 2023 Despite this, ketamine is often touted as a treatment for other psychiatric conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Kaitlin Sullivan, Health, 21 Oct. 2023 Ruby struggled with an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Colin Campbell, Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct. 2023 In the series, Shalhoub played detective Adrian Monk, a character who lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Marianne Garvey, CNN, 10 Oct. 2023 Another recent study found that self-administering psychedelics helped people treat obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms, even without facilitated therapy. Celia Ford, WIRED, 9 Oct. 2023 These feelings can range from mild and fleeting concerns to deep despair, panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Karen Magruder, The Conversation, 18 Sep. 2023 People with skin-picking disorder are more likely to have psychological issues, including major depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders, but none are essential for a diagnosis. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 5 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'obsessive-compulsive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1927, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of obsessive-compulsive was in 1927

Dictionary Entries Near obsessive-compulsive

Cite this Entry

“Obsessive-compulsive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsessive-compulsive. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: relating to or characterized by recurring obsessions and compulsions especially as symptoms of an obsessive-compulsive disorder


2 of 2 noun
: an individual affected with an obsessive-compulsive disorder

More from Merriam-Webster on obsessive-compulsive

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