con·​sti·​pa·​tion | \ ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈpā-shən How to pronounce constipation (audio) \

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

Long-term use of laxatives can actually perpetuate your constipation issues. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Things You Need To Know About Using Laxatives For Weight Loss," 2 Jan. 2019 And yep, the rinconelic acid in castor oil can help relieve occasional constipation. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The 5 Best Benefits of Castor Oil Are Mostly for Your Hair and Skin," 15 Feb. 2019 It was enlisted in the battle against cancer and treatment of fevers, constipation, and gout. Sherri Becker,, "Medical mystery: Dental pain that grew agonizing, then deadly," 5 Mar. 2018 But some patients may suffer chronic pain or discomfort in the lower gut, bloating and constipation or diarrhea—a condition that some doctors are now calling SUDD, for symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease. Laura Landro, WSJ, "Doctors Rethink the Cause—and Treatment—of Diverticular Disease," 20 Nov. 2018 The keto flu is host of flu-like symptoms such as aches, cramping, exhaustion, diarrhea, constipation, and general weakness experienced during the first four days the keto diet. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Keto Diet Pills and Supplements May Hurt Your Health and Waste Your Money," 16 Jan. 2019 Nearly everyone experiences constipation at one point or another. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Things You Need To Know About Using Laxatives For Weight Loss," 2 Jan. 2019 Acute intakes of amounts of 20 milligrams per kilogram can cause other, less dire problems such as vomiting and constipation. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "PETA roasts Impossible Burger for rat tests, suggests patties cause cancer," 11 Aug. 2018 Chemo can cause side effects like nausea and vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, mouth sores, constipation, diarrhea, and more. Korin Miller, SELF, "What Are My Options for Ovarian Cancer Treatment?," 13 Dec. 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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Statistics for constipation

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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Time Traveler for constipation

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 How to pronounce constipation (audio) \

Kids Definition of constipation

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


con·​sti·​pa·​tion | \ ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈpā-shən How to pronounce constipation (audio) \

Medical Definition of constipation

: abnormally delayed or infrequent passage of dry hardened feces

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