1. [syn: compunction, remorse, self-reproach]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Compunction \Com*punc"tion\, n. [OF. compunction, F.
componction, L. compunctio, fr. compungere, compunctum, to
prick; com- + pungere to prick, sting. See Pungent.]
1. A pricking; stimulation. [Obs.]
That acid and piercing spirit which, with such
activity and compunction, invadeth the brains and
nostrils. --Sir T.
2. A picking of heart; poignant grief proceeding from a sense
of guilt or consciousness of causing pain; the sting of
He acknowledged his disloyalty to the king, with
expressions of great compunction. --Clarendon.
Syn: Compunction, Remorse, Contrition.
Usage: Remorse is anguish of soul under a sense of guilt or
consciousness of having offended God or brought evil
upon one's self or others. Compunction is the pain
occasioned by a wounded and awakened conscience.
Neither of them implies true contrition, which denotes
self-condemnation, humiliation, and repentance. We
speak of the gnawings of remorse; of compunction for a
specific act of transgression; of deep contrition in
view of our past lives. See Regret.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a feeling of deep regret (usually for some misdeed) [syn:
compunction, remorse, self-reproach]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
81 Moby Thesaurus words for "compunction":
attrition, bashfulness, beef, better self, bitch, boggle, boggling,
boycott, challenge, complaint, conscience, conscientiousness,
contriteness, contrition, demonstration, demur, demurral, demurrer,
diffidence, disinclination, exception, expostulation, falter,
faltering, fear, grievance, grievance committee, hesitance,
hesitancy, hesitation, howl, indignation meeting, kick, march,
misgiving, modesty, nonviolent protest, objection, pangs,
pangs of conscience, pause, penance, penitently, picketing,
pricking of heart, protest, protest demonstration, protestation,
punctiliousness, qualm, qualm of conscience, qualmishness, qualms,
rally, recoil, regret, reluctance, remonstrance, remonstration,
remorse, repentance, reserve, rue, ruth, scruple, scruples,
scrupulosity, scrupulousness, self-reproach, shrinking, shyness,
sit-in, squawk, stickling, strike, teach-in, throes,
touch of conscience, twinge of conscience, unwillingness,
voice of conscience