con·​sti·​pa·​tion | \ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈpā-shən \

Definition of constipation 

1 : abnormally delayed or infrequent passage of usually dry hardened feces

Examples of constipation in a Sentence

A side effect of the drug is constipation.

Recent Examples on the Web

In individuals with celiac disease, gluten can cause a great variety of symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and a swollen stomach, among others. Miguel Saps, M.d., miamiherald, "Is eating gluten really bad for you?," 19 June 2018 Common symptoms of these conditions include cramping, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and fatigue. Emily Rubin, Rd, Ldn,, "Going gluten free? Dietitian shares unexpected sources of gluten," 11 June 2018 According to the American College of Gastroenterology, constipation is one of the most frequent gastrointestinal complaints in the U.S., with at least 2.5 million doctor visits each year. Jill Provost, Woman's Day, "End Digestive Problems for Good," 21 May 2012 Inulin also helps prevent constipation, improve blood sugar regulation, boost nutrient absorption, and support healthy bone density., "6 Health Benefits of Onions," 22 June 2018 Some people suffer constipation while others suffer diarrhea or abdominal pain. Scott Berson, miamiherald, "Man who pooped on driver during road rage incident says he just 'had to drop it'," 12 June 2018 Diverticulitis can be accompanied by either diarrhea or constipation, and more rarely rectal bleeding. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "Diverticulitis can cause digestive problems for some," 7 June 2018 So up your fiber intake gradually; spread it across meals; drink more water simultaneously to avoid constipation; and consider experimenting with a variety of high-fiber foods to find which ones your digestive system tolerates best. Consumer Reports, Washington Post, "Fiber has surprising anti-aging benefits, but most people don’t eat enough of it," 30 Apr. 2018 Inadequate hydration can cause fatigue, poor appetite, heat intolerance, dizziness, constipation, kidney stones and a dangerous drop in blood pressure. New York Times, "How to Meet Your Body’s Water Needs," 9 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of constipation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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The first known use of constipation was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of constipation

: the condition of being unable to easily release solid waste from your body : the condition of being unable to have a bowel movement easily


con·​sti·​pa·​tion | \ˌkän-stə-ˈpā-shən \

Kids Definition of constipation

: difficult or infrequent passage of dry hard material from the bowels


con·​sti·​pa·​tion | \ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈpā-shən \

Medical Definition of constipation 

: abnormally delayed or infrequent passage of dry hardened feces

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