cur·​sive | \ ˈkər-siv How to pronounce cursive (audio) \

Definition of cursive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: running, coursing: such as
a of writing : flowing often with the strokes of successive characters joined and the angles rounded
b : having a flowing, easy, impromptu character



Definition of cursive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a manuscript written in cursive writing also : cursive writing
2 : a style of printed letter resembling handwriting

Other Words from cursive


cursively adverb
cursiveness noun

Examples of cursive in a Sentence

Noun He writes in cursive when he takes notes.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Spruce suggests using black or blue ink and not using cursive writing. Jacob Livesay, USA TODAY, 29 June 2022 Rather than the cursive E formation, type 5 curls are similar to a Z shape. The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 May 2022 This 5x11-inch bamboo wood serving board is engraved with mom's name and the date in a cursive font. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Apr. 2022 This finally revealed a Latin inscription written in cursive Carolingian minuscule. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 29 Apr. 2022 The third tier was covered in gold sparkles and displayed Turner's first name in a gold cursive cutout. Abigail Adams,, 23 Feb. 2022 My tattoo artist, Gusti, who has been with Ephemeral since the studio opened almost a year ago, stamps the cursive French down my arm. Megan Decker,, 23 Feb. 2022 No one seems able to help little Leo in getting beautiful things out of his pen until, at last, his mother takes his paw in hers and guides him in making cursive shapes on paper. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 11 Feb. 2022 Its symbol is a cursive M with a loop attached to its right side. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 2 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In an Instagram carousel of the couple, Kim showcased the comedian's nod to their on-screen smooch with a tiny tat of Aladdin and Jasmine written in cursive with an infinity symbol between the names. Jasmine Washington, Seventeen, 14 July 2022 Both letters were written in refined cursive and were dated May 11, 1867. Cathy Free, Washington Post, 24 June 2022 Her knuckles and wrists have various tattoos including names in cursive for family as well as a shamrock and a Chanel symbol. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 15 June 2022 Jack Trimper has a list of all the native plants that grow in his yard — evening primrose, milkweed, fleabane — all scrawled in careful cursive, one below the other. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 28 May 2022 The artist has shared similar tattoo art on his page featuring words written in cursive. Natasha Dado,, 25 Jan. 2022 The relationship is as plain as the writing on the walls of the storied venue, cluttered with the names of its biggest stars dotting its black exterior in white cursive. Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2022 State legislators have reintroduced a bill originally introduced in 2019 requiring cursive in schools to be taught. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 June 2021 In an Instagram post on Monday, the 48-year-old actress showed off a new tattoo featuring the word 'balance' written in cursive on her wrist. Natasha Dado,, 25 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of cursive


circa 1784, in the meaning defined above


1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cursive


borrowed from Medieval Latin cursīvus, from Latin cursus, past participle of currere "to run" + -īvus -ive — more at current entry 1

Note: The word cursīva (scrīptūra "writing" presumably understood) is used for scripts by the German Benedictine monk and scribe Leonhard Wagner (Leonardus Wirchlin, 1453-1522) in Proba centum scripturarum una manu exaratarum (1507), which named and exemplified a hundred different hands from the 11th century to the author's own day. It is unclear if the word was used earlier. (There is no lemma for cursīvus in the Mittellateinisches Wörterbuch.) For Latin cursus as the past participle of currere—for expected *co(r)stus—see note at course entry 1.


derivative of cursive entry 1

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The first known use of cursive was circa 1784

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Last Updated

28 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cursive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cursive


cur·​sive | \ ˈkər-siv How to pronounce cursive (audio) \

Kids Definition of cursive

: a type of handwriting in which all the letters of a word are connected to each other

Other Words from cursive

cursive adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on cursive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cursive

Nglish: Translation of cursive for Spanish Speakers


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