Synonym Chooser

How does the noun compunction differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of compunction are demur, qualm, and scruple. While all these words mean "a misgiving about what one is doing or going to do," compunction implies a spontaneous feeling of responsibility or compassion for a potential victim.

had compunctions about lying

When is demur a more appropriate choice than compunction?

In some situations, the words demur and compunction are roughly equivalent. However, demur implies hesitation caused by objection to an outside suggestion or influence.

accepted her decision without demur

When could qualm be used to replace compunction?

Although the words qualm and compunction have much in common, qualm implies an uneasy fear that one is not following one's conscience or better judgment.

no qualms about plagiarizing

In what contexts can scruple take the place of compunction?

While in some cases nearly identical to compunction, scruple implies doubt of the rightness of an act on grounds of principle.

no scruples against buying stolen goods

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Cite this Entry

“Compunction.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/compunction. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

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