cos·​tive | \ ˈkä-stiv How to pronounce costive (audio) , ˈkȯ- \

Definition of costive

1a : affected with constipation
b : causing constipation
2 : slow in action or expression
3 : not generous : stingy

Other Words from costive

costively adverb
costiveness noun

Examples of costive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, their writings are more pungent now that they have been liberated from the costive confines of the movement. Jacob Heilbrunn, The New Republic, 23 Jan. 2020 Movies coiled up in other movies have a habit of becoming either costive or cute, but somehow Falardeau avoids the traps. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 15 May 2017

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

First Known Use of costive

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for costive

Middle English, from Anglo-French costivé, past participle of costiver to constipate, from Latin constipare

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The first known use of costive was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near costive



cost keeper

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Cite this Entry

“Costive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for costive


cos·​tive | \ ˈkäs-tiv, ˈkȯs- How to pronounce costive (audio) \

Medical Definition of costive

1 : affected with constipation
2 : causing constipation

Other Words from costive

costiveness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on costive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for costive


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