con·​gest kən-ˈjest How to pronounce congest (audio)
congested; congesting; congests

transitive verb

: to concentrate in a small or narrow space
: to cause an excessive accumulation especially of blood or mucus in (such as an organ or part)
: clog
traffic congested the highways
congestion noun
congestive adjective

Examples of congest in a Sentence

the usual weekend traffic congested the region's highways
Recent Examples on the Web All outbound freeways are likely to be congested on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Nov. 2023 Mayor Karen Bass urged commuters to use the other freeways around downtown and stay off local streets that are becoming increasingly congested. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 Ingredients like peptides and ceramides can help strengthen, plump, and replenish your skin without congesting your pores. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 25 Oct. 2023 The 366 miles of I-65 from the Tennessee-Alabama state line south to Mobile is often congested, especially during summer weekends, as tourists flock south or return north following weekend visits to the beaches. John Sharp |, al, 8 Aug. 2023 Traffic was congested near the site of the crash in the immediate aftermath of the incident, according to a map from TRIMARC. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, 2 Aug. 2023 Robert Watson’s not very princely Prince summons some impressive top notes, but his tenor tends to congest a bit below. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 8 Aug. 2023 If the ramp becomes too backed up, the queue loops will tell the metering lights to shift to a faster cycle regardless of how badly congested the highway may be. Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2023 Traffic was congested at the time on Interstate 10, where Tiner caused the crash, due to an earlier incident, officials say. Eli Masket, CNN, 30 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'congest.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin congestus, past participle of congerere to bring together, from com- + gerere to bear

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of congest was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near congest

Cite this Entry

“Congest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​gest kən-ˈjest How to pronounce congest (audio)
: to cause an excessive accumulation especially of blood or mucus in (as an organ or body part)
: to block by filling too full : clog, overcrowd
congested streets
-ˈjes-chən How to pronounce congest (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on congest

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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