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cur·​sive ˈkər-siv How to pronounce cursive (audio)
: running, coursing: such as
of writing : flowing often with the strokes of successive characters joined and the angles rounded
: having a flowing, easy, impromptu character
cursively adverb
cursiveness noun


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

Examples of cursive in a Sentence

Noun He writes in cursive when he takes notes.
Recent Examples on the Web
The opening sequence is set to a swooning, somewhat retro score by Dabney Morris, the titles rendered in a swooping pink cursive font. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 27 Jan. 2024 Last week, language was added to an internet safety bill to mandate cursive writing in elementary schools. Jenny Porter Tilley, The Indianapolis Star, 5 Feb. 2024 But scientists don’t know if cursive offers any additional cognitive benefits over writing in print. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 27 Jan. 2024 The cursive font is placed just below her rear end. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 25 Dec. 2023 Suspicion of foreign espionage, cursive messages in ancient Chinese, a sensitive microchip — and a suspect that could not be stopped at the border. Hari Kumar, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2024 What state has recently made teaching cursive writing mandatory? 4. CNN, 1 Feb. 2024 The team also recovered amulets, pottery tools and ostraca—pieces of pottery—that feature hieratic inscriptions, or cursive hieroglyphics. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Jan. 2024 The design featured the date June 15 written in cursive script. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 29 Dec. 2023
Plus, Spalding requires students to primarily write in cursive from third through sixth grade. The Arizona Republic, 28 Jan. 2024 At the start of the experiment, the students were told to either write words in cursive using a digital pen on a touchscreen, or to type the same words using a keyboard. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 27 Jan. 2024 Each plate featured the distinctive Veronica Beard crest, with guests' names delicately scripted in elegant cursive. Rachel Besser, Vogue, 7 Feb. 2024 Being incompetent in cursive didn’t hold me back one bit. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan. 2024 Learning cursive in school, long scorned as obsolete, is now the law in California. Kevinisha Walker, Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2024 In California, students between first and sixth grade will learn to write in cursive under a new state law. Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, 22 Dec. 2023 On her right wrist, the mom of two has each of her children's names tattooed in cursive with their date of birth below it. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 23 Oct. 2023 But in Beverly Cleary’s day, cursive was taught beginning in first grade. oregonlive, 7 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cursive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


circa 1784, in the meaning defined above


1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cursive was circa 1784

Dictionary Entries Near cursive

Cite this Entry

“Cursive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: written or formed with the strokes of the letters joined together and the angles rounded
cursive handwriting
cursive noun
cursively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on cursive

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