Compunction Com*punc"tion, n. [OF. compunction, F. componction, L. compunctio, fr. compungere, compunctum, to prick; com- + pungere to prick, sting. See {Pungent}.] 1. A pricking; stimulation. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

That acid and piercing spirit which, with such activity and compunction, invadeth the brains and nostrils. --Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster]

2. A picking of heart; poignant grief proceeding from a sense of guilt or consciousness of causing pain; the sting of conscience. [1913 Webster]

He acknowledged his disloyalty to the king, with expressions of great compunction. --Clarendon.

Syn: {Compunction}, {Remorse}, {Contrition}.

Usage: Remorse is anguish of soul under a sense of guilt or consciousness of having offended God or brought evil upon one's self or others. Compunction is the pain occasioned by a wounded and awakened conscience. Neither of them implies true contrition, which denotes self-condemnation, humiliation, and repentance. We speak of the gnawings of remorse; of compunction for a specific act of transgression; of deep contrition in view of our past lives. See {Regret}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • compunction — mid 14c., from O.Fr. compunction (12c., Mod.Fr. componction), from L.L. compunctionem (nom. compunctio) remorse; a pricking (of conscience), noun of action from compunct , pp. stem of L. compungere to severely prick, sting, from com , intensive… …   Etymology dictionary

  • compunction — ► NOUN ▪ a feeling of guilt or moral scruple that prevents or follows wrongdoing: he felt no compunction in letting her worry. DERIVATIVES compunctious adjective. ORIGIN Latin, from compungere prick sharply …   English terms dictionary

  • compunction — [kəm puŋk′shən] n. [ME compunccion < OFr compunction < LL compunctio, a pricking (in LL(Ec), the pricking of conscience) < L compunctus, pp. of compungere, to prick, sting < com , intens. + pungere, to prick: see POINT] 1. a sharp… …   English World dictionary

  • Compunction — (v. lat.), Zerknirschung, höchster Grad der Reue …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Compunction — Compunction, lat., Zerknirschung, Reue …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • compunction — index conscience, qualm, remorse, responsibility (conscience), scruple Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • compunction — 1 remorse, *penitence, repentance, contrition, attrition Analogous words: regret, *sorrow: conscientiousness, scrupulousness or scrupulosity (see corresponding adjectives at UPRIGHT) 2 scruple, demur, *qualm Analogous words: * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • compunction — [n] regret, sorrow attrition, conscience, contrition, misgiving, penitence, penitency, pity, punctiliousness, qualm, reluctance, remorse, repentance, rue, ruth, second thoughts, shame, stab of conscience, sympathy; concept 410 Ant. defiance,… …   New thesaurus

  • compunction — Compunction, ou Remors de conscience, Morsus et contractiunculae auium, Synteresis …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • compunction — n. 1) to feel, have; show compunction 2) compunction about (she felt no compunction about making us wait) 3) without compunction (he violated the law without the slightest compunction) * * * [kəm pʌŋkʃ(ə)n] have show compunction about (she felt… …   Combinatory dictionary

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