Definition of compulsory in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəmˈpəlsərē/


1Required by law or a rule; obligatory: compulsory military service it was compulsory to attend Mass
More example sentences
  • Military service is still compulsory in Russia and men aged 18 serve two years.
  • All he had to look forward to in this country was death, a prison camp or compulsory military service.
  • The completion of a training programme is now one of the compulsory requirements of the scheme.
obligatory, mandatory, required, requisite, necessary, essential;
imperative, unavoidable, enforced, demanded, prescribed
1.1Involving or exercising compulsion; coercive: the abuse of compulsory powers
More example sentences
  • The judge said she was arguing against compulsory wayleave powers which had been used for 200 years.
  • Defra does not have compulsory powers to sample deer and needs permission from the landowner or deer owner.
  • There must be compulsory billeting powers, and they would have to be quite ruthless with those powers.



Pronunciation: /kəmˈpəls(ə)rəlē/
Example sentences
  • A move by Mayo County council to compulsorily acquire the necessary land on the island has run into difficulty and is currently before the High Court.
  • If necessary, it will have the power to purchase land compulsorily.
  • For this illusory victory, Fielding has helped the Federal Government strip university student unions of the right to compulsorily levy a fee for services.


Pronunciation: /kəmˈpəls(ə)rēnəs/
Example sentences
  • We reiterate the compulsoriness of using sleep sacks in all huts, without exception.
  • The second and third factors both depend on the first, the compulsoriness of sense experience versus the non-compulsoriness of religious experience.
  • The most substantial distinction is between the fundamental position of compulsoriness in Theosophy, vegetarianism and articles of belief, and the position of free choice in all these matters.


Early 16th century (as a noun denoting a legal mandate that had to be obeyed): from medieval Latin compulsorius, from compuls- 'driven, forced', from the verb compellere (see compel).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: com·pul·so·ry

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