Definition of compunction in English:

compunction

noun

  • [mass noun], [usually with negative] A feeling of guilt or moral scruple that prevents or follows the doing of something bad.

    ‘they used their tanks without compunction’
    • ‘Hence his way of life can be sacrificed without compunction, and his protests go unheard.’
    • ‘The teachers themselves organise photocopying of books without any moral compunction, assuming that they are after all helping their students.’
    • ‘If the ancient human habit of taking what we want without understanding, without compassion, and without compunction continues unrestricted, it will lead us to extinction.’
    • ‘The ability to trample the rights of fellow human beings without compunction is rooted in a belief that the needs of society outweigh the needs of the individual.’
    • ‘We call them sociopaths because they will cheerfully cheat or attack others without compunction.’
    • ‘V operates without compunction or mercy, and his brand of enforced anarchy is just as dictatorial as the forces to which he is opposed.’
    • ‘You will kill without compunction and die without complaint.’
    • ‘In the marketplace everything becomes a commodity and all workers become wage slaves who can be fired without compunction.’
    • ‘Who lied, cheated, and stole without compunction?’
    • ‘For it is clear they would do the same again, both in America and around the world, without compunction or hesitation.’
    • ‘But I can, without compunction, recommend the film purely on its own merits.’
    • ‘She clutched the bundle of wood to her chest like a shield and lied without compunction.’
    • ‘How can soldiers, who are trained to kill enemy combatants without compunction, be decompressed and integrated back into civilian life?’
    • ‘The courts have no similar compunction about making injunctions to prevent torts and these have very much the same effect.’
    • ‘He attacked the credibility of alleged accomplices who had turned state witness, saying there was little doubt that they had lied without compunction.’
    • ‘He has no shame and no compunction about throwing around baseless, false accusations such as liar, theft and fraud.’
    • ‘Designed with love, it will be destroyed without compunction.’
    • ‘Altogether this provided an ideological charter for the most extreme action, without compunction or remorse.’
    • ‘The truth is that the average consumer today has no moral compunction about beating the system.’
    • ‘The ‘nice’ party has been revealed as no such thing - rather, enthusiastically and without compunction, it destroyed its greatest electoral asset, a leader who had delivered its finest hour only months before.’
    scruples, misgivings, qualms, worries, unease, uneasiness, hesitation, hesitancy, doubts, reluctance, reservations
    guilt, feelings of guilt, guilty conscience, pangs of conscience, twinges of conscience, remorse, regret, contrition, contriteness, self-reproach, repentance, penitence
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French componction, from ecclesiastical Latin compunctio(n-), from Latin compungere prick sharply, from com- (expressing intensive force) + pungere to prick.

Pronunciation:

compunction

/kəmˈpʌŋkʃ(ə)n/