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

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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 Let your hairline take center stage with this freestyle, face-framing cursive look. Chelsea Hall, Marie Claire, "Oh, Baby!," 5 Oct. 2020 Every zone gets a label in a typeface made from Shearer’s own loopy cursive. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, "“Get Organized with The Home Edit” Is Infomercial Reality Television," 23 Sep. 2020 On Monday, the singer-songwriter, 33, debuted a new tattoo of the Lizzie McGuire alum's first name inked in cursive script, by sharing a hilarious photo of his bare backside on Instagram. Hanna Flanagan,, "Matthew Koma Gets Wife Hilary Duff's Name Tattooed on His Butt — See How She Reacted," 21 Sep. 2020 Stakes was built like a tugboat, sported cursive script tattooed on his biceps, and could spitball on the intricacies of rocket aerodynamics at 200 words a minute. David Howard, Popular Mechanics, ""Mad Mike" Hughes Rejected Science and Chased Fame. It Killed Him.," 30 Aug. 2020 Then, with Zoom classes, lunch breaks, and supplemental lessons in subjects like cursive during the afternoon, the day doesn't slow down until everyone goes to bed at 8 p.m. Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, "'I don't know if I can do this': Parents brace for school year juggling jobs, remote learning amid COVID-19 pandemic," 17 Aug. 2020 Written in ornate cursive by a general’s aide and signed by Maj. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "National Archives Locates Handwritten Juneteenth Order," 19 June 2020 Most of the recipes were written in cursive on index cards. Anh-minh Le,, "Bay Area community gathers around a mystery recipe box," 12 June 2020 Sport mode does little to change the appearance, with the exception of swapping in cursive numbers. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Audi A1 40 TFSI Offers a Premium Experience In a Small Package," 1 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The complaint said the 40-year-old from Milwaukee took a joyride on a tractor to try and carve his name in cursive on the field, causing $40,000 in damage. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "WATCH: Footage released of man who broke into Brewers' Miller Park and damaged field with tractor," 25 Sep. 2020 All Rockne's letters to Schreiner were typewritten with his name signed in cursive. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, "His dad was Knute Rockne's last equipment manager, he left letters from Notre Dame coach," 23 Sep. 2020 In a July 2019 Instagram post, Offset shared a screenshot of himself FaceTiming Cardi B, who appeared to be lifting her leg up to show her husband his name tattooed in cursive on the back of her thigh. Georgia Slater,, "Cardi B Shows Off Her Revamped Peacock Hip Tattoo After 'Hours of Pain'," 16 June 2020 The intruder who entered Miller Park’s playing field last week is accused of taking a joyride on a tractor and using it to try carving his name in cursive on the grounds, causing $40,000 in damage. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Miller Park intruder tried carving his name into field with stolen tractor, causing $40K in damages," 9 June 2020 There’s a poster on one wall of Malcolm X. On another wall is a whiteboard with a schedule of meetings, objectives and deadlines for 2020, scribbled in neon-green cursive. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Tiny Michigan nonprofit is taking on DTE — and it could have huge impact on the company," 16 Jan. 2020 But there was the signature of the firm’s chairman, David Boies, in blue-inked cursive, on a contract to kill the paper’s own reporting. Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, "The Black Cube Chronicles: The Double Agent," 9 Oct. 2019 The menu is still written in her handwriting, thanks to technology that made a font out of her cursive. Brett Anderson, New York Times, "L’Express, the Beloved Montreal Bistro Where So Much Began," 24 Dec. 2019 In a cursive, your assignments read: get into the garden get the groundskeeper wet steal the groundskeeper’s keys make the groundskeeper wear his sun hat rake in the lake have a picnic These are your goals. Daniel Wolfe, Quartz, "So you have decided to play Untitled Goose Game and be a horrible goose," 20 Sep. 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for cursive

Time Traveler

The first known use of cursive was circa 1784

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Statistics for cursive

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cursive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for cursive



English Language Learners Definition of cursive

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


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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