from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Suffering from constipation.
  • adj. Causing constipation.
  • adj. Slow; sluggish.
  • adj. Stingy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. constipated
  • adj. miserly, parsimonious

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Retaining fecal matter in the bowels; having too slow a motion of the bowels; constipated.
  • adj. Reserved; formal; close; cold.
  • adj. Dry and hard; impermeable; unyielding.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Suffering from a morbid retention of fecal matter in the bowels, in a hard and dry state; having the excrements retained, or the motion of the bowels sluggish or suppressed; constipated.
  • Figuratively, slow in action; especially, slow in giving forth ideas or opinions, etc.; uncommunicative; close; unproductive.
  • Hard and dry; caked.
  • Producing costiveness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. retarding evacuation of feces; binding; constipating


Middle English costif, from Old French costeve, past participle of costever, to constipate, from Latin cōnstīpāre; see constipate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Anglo-Norman *costif, ultimately from Latin constipatus ‘constipated’. (Wiktionary)



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