Compunction (noun)

Compunction (noun)


1a. anxiety arising from awareness of guilt

1b. distress of mind over an anticipated action or result

2. a twinge of misgiving: scruple

(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 3 June 2020)

Use it in a sentence

‘I would have no compunction shoving you into the path of a speeding bus.’ 

‘So … we’re still not talking then?’

‘Likely never again. This is not even a conversation.’

‘Right. Well, I can’t apologise again. But. For what it’s worth. I’m so sorry. So very sorry.’


‘You would really push me in front of a moving vehicle?’

‘No compunction at all.’

‘Ha! You spoke to me.’


‘I told you – I’ll replace it.’


‘Tell me where you got it.’


‘Did you find it here… or….?’

*sigh* ‘One day, many years ago, in a tiny vintage store in the narrow lanes of Genoa, I struck up a conversation with the owner and her tiny poodle, Stella. We chatted about this and that as I riffled though dusty, moth eaten velveteen jackets and full-length floral skirts. Stella, chewing on a stuffed bear, started to wheeze and huff, coughing and spluttering. Choking. The owner flapped her arms and squealed a lot but didn’t have a clue what to do. I scooped up Stella, plonked her on the counter, stuck my fingers down her throat and pulled out the wool stuffed arm of her toy bear. She promptly vomited on the glass countertop and then looked at me, licking her lips. So, I put back down on the floor and the owner practically swooned from joy and relief. She thanked me over and over again and then told me to stay where I was. As I fingered a cream taffeta bridesmaid dress, she shuffled out the back and I heard her rummaging around, still thanking God and this miraculous stranger – me – who saved her precious Stella. Then she came back carrying a black leather handbag, plain but with the unmistakable bamboo handle of a classic Gucci and presented it to me regally. She told me she had put it aside for a regular customer – she only kept the cheap stuff, the tourist stuff out the front – but since I’d saved her dog, I could have it – for nothing. Nothing. She stuffed a vintage Hermes scarf inside of it for good measure. I wandered out of the store in a state of grace – a state that’s never been replicated. And then, last week, spring cleaning, you put that Gucci inside a garbage bag destined for the bin.’

‘Thinking that was what you wanted. It was a bit battered.’


‘Wait a minute though. Are you saying you treasure your Gucci handbag more than me?’


‘So, we’re really never speaking again.’ 

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