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 Inspired by cursive handwriting, with the fountain pen front and center, the New York flagship balances contemporary design and classic elegance. Nancy Olson, Forbes, "Montblanc Delivers Multi-Sensory Experience At New NYC Flagship Boutique," 27 Apr. 2021 Every weekend, Dadu sat me down with a cursive exercise book. Nandini Balial, Wired, "How Stardew Valley Bridged a Connection to My Grandfather," 26 Apr. 2021 The direction of reading and the cursive script, which may or may not include vowels, are the two major hurdles for Arab learners. John Malathronas, CNN, "Which languages are easiest -- and most difficult -- for native English speakers to learn?," 21 Apr. 2021 Students learn a range of exercises during sessions, such as blowing bubbles in a glass of water using a straw, singing the shape of their names if written in the air in cursive and gently stretching their neck. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Opera Singing Is Helping Long-Haul Covid-19 Patients Recover," 20 Apr. 2021 The set was embellished with various gold nameplate necklaces, with some even spelling out her own name in cursive script. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Wore a Gold Chain-Embellished Suit by Area for a Vegas Getaway with Jay-Z," 16 Apr. 2021 There's the case of the similar cursive fonts, Not to mention the fact that the Them cast includes an actress from that scary movie about the tethers that walk among us. Shannon Carlin,, "The Cast Of Them Will Keep You Up At Night," 9 Apr. 2021 The other half of the class beamed in for the four-hour session, their Google Meets session projected onto a screen beneath a cursive alphabet display. oregonlive, "Students of color get short shrift," 3 Apr. 2021 And in the bathroom, a welcome carpet with Brooks Brothers written in cursive sits next to a toilet. New York Times, "The Ghosts of Brooks Brothers," 2 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With little identifying it beyond its name in simple green cursive, the watering hole’s unassuming exterior belies its importance in gay rights history. NBC News, "Julius' Bar, site of historic gay 'sip-in,' threatened by pandemic," 27 Mar. 2021 Not long after, a case of pinot noir arrived, with a note of congratulations in neat cursive. Chris Ballard, Los Angeles Times, "The SoCal night Gregg Popovich’s Hall of Fame career nearly died before it began," 25 Mar. 2021 Late in his life, J.B. Stradford set down his memoirs in careful cursive, later transcribed into 32 typewritten pages. Smithsonian Magazine, "The Burning: The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921," 17 Mar. 2021 One was my grandmother’s little Adler, a Tippa 7 that typed in cursive. Ann Patchett, The New Yorker, "How to Practice," 1 Mar. 2021 His eatery is still under construction, although Dashoush has put up the Den’s logo – scrawled in elegant black cursive – with business partners Garrett and Mikey Laughlin. Phillip Valys,, "Den Kitchen and Bar, new Fort Lauderdale gastropub, coming to downtown Himmarshee Village," 2 Dec. 2020 Two of her early designs were the outline of a woman’s silhouette (which is still a recurring motif in the line), and her own name in cursive. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "This Jewelry Designer Uses Statement Earrings to Tell Stories," 23 Nov. 2020 My grandma would keep score with a notepad and neat cursive, listing each of seven rounds, our scores and a star when someone got a joker. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Our favorite card games for holiday fun, from Brisc to Slap," 21 Nov. 2020 Teigen tweeted a photo Sunday showing her and Legend holding hands across a table, revealing a tattoo of their son's name -- Jack -- written in cursive. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Chrissy Teigen honors late son with new tattoo," 2 Nov. 2020

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

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cursive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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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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