Meaning of compulsory in English:


Pronunciation /kəmˈpʌls(ə)ri/

See synonyms for compulsory

Translate compulsory into Spanish


  • 1Required by law or a rule; obligatory.

    ‘compulsory military service’
    • ‘it was compulsory to attend mass’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many parents believed that to give girls education beyond the compulsory age was a waste of money.’
    • ‘The group were worried about what their children were going to do once they had finished compulsory education.’
    • ‘Upon completion of compulsory service each soldier is assigned to a reserve unit.’
    • ‘Now belief was essential and attendance was compulsory, at least in theory.’
    • ‘They are making teachers attend a compulsory course to enhance their computer skills.’
    • ‘The documents also make it clear that BA cannot guarantee that compulsory redundancies will not be imposed.’
    • ‘The union fears that compulsory redundancies could be on the cards when the year-long change begins next April.’
    • ‘According to the RIAA, Rosen clearly stated that compulsory licensing is not a good idea.’
    • ‘If voting were not compulsory, masses of people would abstain.’
    • ‘The literacy and numeracy strategies were not compulsory in primary schools.’
    • ‘Britain is the only European Union state not to make a foreign language compulsory in primary school.’
    • ‘What he can't do is to make attendance compulsory, or threaten that non-attendance will delay other qualifications.’
    • ‘The ID card should be compulsory from the age of ten.’
    • ‘Medical inspections for schoolchildren become compulsory by law.’
    • ‘Learning it should be compulsory for a driver's licence.’
    • ‘Any child subjected to compulsory schooling of any kind gets left behind intellectually.’
    • ‘Education is free and compulsory between the ages of seven and thirteen.’
    obligatory, mandatory, required, requisite, necessary, essential, statutory, prescribed
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Involving or exercising compulsion; coercive.
      ‘the abuse of compulsory powers’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The applicants appear to propose a dual test in respect of the powers of compulsory acquisition.’
      • ‘This section is concerned with the powers of compulsory admission available to health professionals.’
      • ‘They are shocked at any ideas to use compulsory powers on big groups.’


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