V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. anxiety or uneasiness about doing something; 2. feelings of shame and guilt for wrongdoing

Synonyms: disquiet, qualm, contrition, regret, penitence, shame, scruple

Antonyms: disregard, indifference, unconcern

Tips: Compunction is a feeling of regret for misdeeds. Our conscience drives our ability for compunction. Similar to contrition, where contrition is used to describe being truly sorry and compunction is used to describe feeling shame or guilt. Compunction is more of a pang of guilt or a sting of regret. Think of that feeling when you think, "I really wish I hadn't done that"--that feeling is compunction.

Usage Examples:

The sociopath had no visible compunction for the horrible deeds he committed. (regret, shame)

Even though he felt some compunction for lying, he continued telling lies until he could no longer remember to whom he had told what. (contrition, qualm)

Julie's compunction over her mistakes at work often kept her up at night. (shame, regret)

Andrew's compunction over how badly he had treated his assistant when she first came to work for him caused him to offer her a raise in a short period of time. (regret, contrition)

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