from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective constipated
  • adjective miserly, parsimonious

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

  • adjective retarding evacuation of feces; binding; constipating


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

[Middle English costif, from Old French costeve, past participle of costever, to constipate, from Latin cōnstīpāre; see constipate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Anglo-Norman *costif, ultimately from Latin constipatus ‘constipated’.



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  • Also means "slow, sluggish" or "stingy."

    June 30, 2008

  • "In many ways this aerated point of view appeared more troubling than the costive statement from which it had originated, and I was quite defeated in my efforts to distinguish anything amusing about it."

    Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett, p 56

    April 19, 2017