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It is a compulsive behavior.
  describing an action as involuntary
 Mark word for later review on this computer
compulsory compulsive compulsion compulsively compulsorily compulsiveness compulsivity
Strongly Associated with:   compulsory, compulsion
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  • It is a compulsive behavior.
  • He was known to be a compulsive gambler and a pretty consistent loser.
    Reginald Rose  --  Twelve Angry Men
  • Although I didn’t know John and his family until two years ago when I moved into the neighborhood, from what I’ve been able to gather I think his father was a compulsive alcoholic.
    Paul Zindel  --  The Pigman
  • In India only the aristocracy gambled; in Ceylon the bankers and lime-burners and fishmongers and the leisured class would spend their afternoons, shoulder to shoulder, betting compulsively.
    Michael Ondaatje  --  Running in the Family

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  • Yet, by placing myself on Yamacraw, I was denying my natural gregariousness and my compulsive need for good friends.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • While we sit there I recall the name of a ludicrous phenomenon I read about in a Duke Univ. course in abnormal psychology: "coprolalia," the compulsive use of obscene language, often found in young women.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • It was involuntary, hopeless, compulsive.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • And good old compulsive me, obsessive down to the last detail, refrigerates it in a vial, never knowing what for.
    James Patterson  --  1st to Die
  • It’s one of those moments when I just love her compulsive punctuality.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Catching Fire
  • And he’d always been kind of compulsive.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild

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  • I guess she was a compulsive liar even back then.
    Kathryn Stockett  --  The Help
  • At first, looking out for a ship was something I did all the time, compulsively.
    Yann Martel  --  Life of Pi
  • Aunt Petunia was compulsively straightening cushions.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Liesel even thought that perhaps she could get away with only telling Papa, but she didn’t want him thinking that he had a compulsive criminal on his hands.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief
  • The compulsively superstitious person is also very often a serious believer in fate; that was the case with Perry.
    Truman Capote  --  In Cold Blood
  • He’s compulsive.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Ashes
  • In fact, he was finding it almost impossible to do either, so scrambled were his powers of performance by the compulsive need for haste that invariably possessed him.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • There’s something compulsive about that.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • I replied: "Well, I’m a compulsive male and I like to make little toy soldiers move around on my command, and that’s fun."
    Randy Pausch  --  The Last Lecture
  • There are people who collect insurance as compulsively as others collect coins and stamps, and Mark Torrance had been that type.
    Stephen King  --  The Shining
  • As the time I had suggested came and went, I found myself glancing compulsively over my shoulder, breathing a sigh of relief when a figure appeared in the distance.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  Dear John
  • Sure, I’m a compulsive talker of a kind, but I’m really more clown than fool.
    Ralph Ellison  --  Invisible Man
  • Usually he’s more obsessive/compulsive.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Son of Neptune
  • Silvan Tomkins, maybe the greatest mind reader of them all, was compulsive about practicing.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Blink
  • You were supposed to be so tough, he had thought once, after one of his compulsive lifting exercises.
    Stephen King  --  Misery
  • Driven by compulsive animal fear, I ran for the streets, slipped in among a column of Council workers just leaving the place, and got through the gate that way.
    Wladyslaw Szpilman  --  The Pianist
  • A compulsively methodical man, he had elaborate systems in place that were supposed to prevent such a catastrophe.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • Though it did not have the violent, compulsive panic which it had carried last time, it was intense; the degree of distress and anxiety was enough to be highly uncomfortable at the receiving end.
    John Wyndham  --  The Chrysalids
  • Like to the Pontic Sea, Whose icy current and compulsive course Ne’er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on To the Propontic and the Hellespont; Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace, Shall ne’er look back, ne’er ebb to humble love, Till that a capable and wide revenge Swallow them up.
    William Shakespeare  --  Othello, the Moor of Venice
  • Leto watched the movements of the man’s hands: compulsive touchings—the edge of a plate, the handle of a spoon, a finger tracing the fold of a jowl.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • It has been decided that you were compulsively promiscuous.
    Susanna Kaysen  --  Girl Interrupted
  • Her mom was a flight attendant and a compulsive shopper, a deadly combination that resulted in Chloe always having the newest stuff from the best places.
    Sarah Dessen  --  This Lullaby
  • I’m compulsively friendly.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Lock and Key
  • Deanna’s free hand gestured compulsively as she asked the questions.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  Message in a Bottle
  • His wife—Randy did not know her name because Dan never uttered it—apparently had been extravagant, a nympho, a one-drink alcoholic, and a compulsive gambler.
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon
  • On the way out I open one more door, compulsively.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • He was compulsive, ate all the time.
    Chris Crutcher  --  Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
  • To Ruth, however, the counting was practical, not compulsive; it had to do with remembering things, not warding off some superstitious nonsense.
    Amy Tan  --  The Bonesetter’s Daughter
  • Oh, yes, I became neurotically compulsive about cleanliness.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • But the first order of business is for him to compulsively pick up every speck of dirt, debris and tobacco by hand.
    Steve Lopez  --  The Soloist
  • The Freudians declare that each of us is slaying his father, marrying his mother, all the time—only unconsciously: the roundabout symbolic ways of doing this and the rationalizations of the consequent compulsive activity constitute our individual lives and common civilization.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • Most of our watchwords were unspoken but we followed them as compulsively as a baby duck takes to water.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • My allusions are compulsive attempts at false erudition.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • In her case this has to do with compulsive neurotic behaviour.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
  • Stink compulsively cleaned and oiled his weapon.
    Tim O’Brien  --  Going After Cacciato
  • We had just a few at first, but since Mom was not exactly a compulsive cleaner, they multiplied.
    Jeannette Walls  --  The Glass Castle
  • His choosiness about where he squatted to defecate had grown to the point of compulsive obsession.
    John Grogan  --  Marley & Me
  • Though she supposed there was some truth in that, there was also something compulsive about his habits.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Best of Me
  • He talked to her in a reassuring, trite and slightly compulsive way, like a first-timer nervous in a singles bar.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • He sighed, recognizing that his compulsive need to review their history was simply an attempt to calm his nerves.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  True Believer
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Associated words [difficulty]:   compulsive [3] , compulsory [5] , compulsion [2] , compel [1] , compelling [1]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Human Behavior, Public Policy & Politics, Law
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