con·​sti·​pate | \ ˈkän(t)-stə-ˌpāt How to pronounce constipate (audio) \
constipated; constipating

Definition of constipate

transitive verb

1 : to cause constipation in
2 : to make immobile, inactive, or dull : stultify so much clutter … will tend to constipate the novel's working orderThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

Examples of constipate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nowinski’s experience provides a glimpse into how the shortage is constipating companies behind the scenes. Jen Wieczner, Fortune, "The case of the missing toilet paper: How the coronavirus exposed U.S. supply chain flaws," 18 May 2020 Officially, encopresis is a physical and psychological state in which a child who is often constipated begins to associate pooping with pain. Lizzie Skurnick, New York Times, "Watching My Son Grow, and My Mom Return to Childhood," 17 Apr. 2020 If your child is frequently constipated while potty training, consult with your pediatrician. Dina Dimaggio, New York Times, "How to Start Potty Training," 15 Apr. 2020 Having been intermittently constipated for most of my life, even that seemed ambitious. Julie Schott, The Cut, "If You Want Clear Skin, Look at Your Poop," 19 Mar. 2018 Obviously men can be constipated too, but women are much more likely to be constipated than men. Mary Allen, Allure, "8 Things to Know About Your Poop," 6 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'constipate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of constipate

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for constipate

Medieval Latin constipatus, past participle of constipare, from Latin, to crowd together, from com- + stipare to pack tight — more at stiff

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about constipate

Time Traveler for constipate

Time Traveler

The first known use of constipate was in 1533

See more words from the same year

Statistics for constipate

Cite this Entry

“Constipate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for constipate


transitive verb
con·​sti·​pate | \ ˈkän(t)-stə-ˌpāt How to pronounce constipate (audio) \
constipated; constipating

Medical Definition of constipate

: to make costive : cause constipation in

More from Merriam-Webster on constipate

Nglish: Translation of constipate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on constipate

What made you want to look up constipate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!