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Meaning of Compuncton

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  • a pricking of conscience, a slight regret
         He pulled the trigger without compunction.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia

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. Browne.

2. A picking of heart; poignant grief proceeding from a sense of guilt or consciousness of causing pain; the sting of conscience.

He acknowledged his disloyalty to the king, with expressions of great compunction.

Syn. -- Compunction, Remorse, Contrition. 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.

- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

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