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1. A strong uneasiness caused by a sense of guilt: stole the money without compunction. See Synonyms at penitence.
2. A sting of conscience or a pang of doubt aroused by wrongdoing or the prospect of wrongdoing: "commercial speculators and hired politicians who had no compunction about pillaging their country for personal gain" (Leo Damrosch).
[Middle English compunccioun, from Old French componction, from Late Latin compūnctiō, compūnctiōn-, puncture, sting of conscience, from Latin compūnctus, past participle of compungere, to sting : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + pungere, to prick; see peuk- in Indo-European roots.]
com·punc′tious (-shəs) adj.
a feeling of remorse, guilt, or regret
[C14: from Church Latin compunctiō, from Latin compungere to sting, from com- (intensive) + pungere to puncture; see point]
1. a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of conscience for doing wrong or causing pain; contrition; remorse.
2. any uneasiness or hesitation about the rightness of an action; qualm.
[1350–1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Late Latin compūnctiō remorse < Latin compung(ere) to prick severely (com- com- + pungere to prick; compare point)]
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|Noun||1.||compunction - a feeling of deep regret (usually for some misdeed)|
regret, ruefulness, sorrow, rue - sadness associated with some wrong done or some disappointment; "he drank to drown his sorrows"; "he wrote a note expressing his regret"; "to his rue, the error cost him the game"
guilt feelings, guilt trip, guilty conscience, guilt - remorse caused by feeling responsible for some offense
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