Synonyms & Antonyms of compunction

an uneasy feeling about the rightness of what one is doing or going to do
  • throughout her school years she cheated without compunction

Synonyms for compunction

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Frequently Asked Questions About compunction

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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The first known use of compunction was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Compunction.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on compunction

Nglish: Translation of compunction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compunction for Arabic Speakers


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