A Word A Day : Compunction

Saturday, 22nd December 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

Pronunciation : kum-púng-kshen

1. feelings of shame and regret about doing something wrong

2. a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of the conscience caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain

3. any uneasiness or hesitation about the rightness of an action

4. a sting of conscience or a pang of doubt aroused by wrongdoing or the prospect of wrongdoing


14th century - Via French - ecclesiastical Latin compunction - Latin compunct - past participle of compungere - sting strongly - pungere - to prick, sting


contriteness, contrition, penitence, penitency, remorse, remorsefulness, repentance, rue, attrition, conscience, misgiving, pity, punctiliousness, qualm, reluctance, ruth, shame, sorrow, sympathy


defiance, hardness, indifference, meanness, remorselessness, cruelty, disregard, unconcern

Contextual Examples:

• Struggles and resolves had transformed themselves into compunction and anxiety.

• The beginning of compunction is the beginning of a new life.

• Well, just try to remember how many instances of compunction you have seen.

Related Words:

compunctious: Adjective

compunctiously: Adverb

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