Adjective "compulsive" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Resulting from or relating to an irresistible urge.
  1. 'Most people with OCD struggle to banish their unwanted thoughts and compulsive behaviors.'
  2. 'Difficult to define exactly, it has become popular to think of almost any behavior that has a compulsive quality as an ‘addiction.’'
  3. 'For example, multiple addictions have been found among more than half of adolescents who have a compulsive behaviour problem.'
  4. 'It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.'
  5. 'Marijuana is addictive because it causes compulsive, uncontrollable drug craving, seeking and use, even in the face of negative health and social consequences.'
  6. 'If not detected and treated early, compulsive gambling might lead to estrangement from family and friends as well as financial and legal difficulties.'
  7. 'What is distinctive about such compulsive behaviour, I would argue, is that the desires and emotions in question are more or less radically independent of the evaluational systems of these agents.'
  8. 'Many had kept secret their compulsive eating binges or their ‘purging’ behaviors for years.'
  9. 'As you learn to modify your compulsive behaviour, your anxiety levels should lessen.'
  10. 'Well, compulsive behaviour has been, for decades now, easier to treat psychologically than obsessions.'
  11. 'a compulsive liar'
  12. 'My husband is a compulsive hoarder and shopaholic, filling every inch of our six-bedroom house.'
  13. 'But some people fear they could be the breeding ground for the compulsive gamblers of the future.'
  14. 'This is a comic take on the nature of luck and the power of faith from the perspective of a cancer patient and her compulsive gambler husband.'
  15. 'He became a compulsive traveller, spending a year on the Ivory Coast in 1931 and making many photographs.'
  16. 'The near limitless play potential makes this game a godsend for obsessive, compulsive fans of this style of play, and the ocean deep gameplay ensures that there is always something new to do.'
  17. 'At first Swiss police thought the Frenchman, who crossed the border each day to work in restaurants, was a passionate art lover who became a compulsive thief to realise his dream of owning a private art collection.'
  18. 'I am a compulsive consumer of gossip magazines and freely admit to an unhealthy fascination with celebrity.'
  19. 'For many years he was a compulsive gambler, and a very unsuccessful one at that, and while there is no evidence that his life was overly blighted by the addiction, he did run up fairly substantial debts to several bookmakers in Glasgow.'
  20. 'A compulsive overeater (binge-eater) is an individual who compulsively eats but does not purge and usually becomes overweight.'
  21. 'If she is the sort of compulsive person driven to fix typos and check that the listed URLs are working, this site will keep her busy forever.'
Irresistibly interesting or exciting; compelling.
  1. 'The Republic recovered the pride and drive that fuelled their brave World Cup challenge on a night when Hampden Park rocked to the compulsive beat of a compelling performance.'
  2. 'And while the group's in-house manoeuvring for position made compulsive viewing in itself, the audience had the final say on who went and who stayed.'
  3. 'Since I'm trying to deny the horrifying truth that I began to find the series quite compulsive viewing as it neared its conclusion, I shall now heap scorn upon this piece of advertising.'
  4. 'The nail-biting wait for that waft of smoke has become compulsive viewing.'
  5. 'Ice hockey, downhill skiing, ski jumping and even the speed skating make for compulsive viewing.'
  6. 'Rarely have the compositional anxieties of the Scherzo sounded more robust and urgent, or its litany of compulsive surges so compelling.'
  7. 'This was compulsive viewing, but only because it was incredibly badly made.'
  8. 'Foregone conclusions don't make for compulsive viewing.'
  9. 'Third, technology has a compelling, even compulsive, logic of its own.'
  10. 'It is an average party album and could happily sit alongside something like Terrorvision, but it fails to provide any compulsive listening or interesting music.'


1. compelling; compulsory.

2. Psychology. pertaining to, characterized by, or involving compulsion: a compulsive desire to cry. governed by an obsessive need to conform, be scrupulous, etc., coupled with an inability to express positive emotions. noun

3. Psychology. a person whose behavior is governed by a compulsion.

More examples(as adjective)

"gamblings can be compulsive."

"gamblers can be compulsive."

"viewings can be compulsive."

"behaviours can be compulsive."

"eatings can be compulsive."

More examples++


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘compulsory’): from medieval Latin compulsivus, from compuls- ‘driven, forced’, from the verb compellere (see compel). compulsive (sense 1) (originally a term in psychology) dates from the early 20th century.