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[kuh n-suhmp-tiv]
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  1. tending to consume; destructive; wasteful.
  2. pertaining to consumption by use.
  3. Pathology.
    1. pertaining to or of the nature of consumption.
    2. disposed to or affected with consumption.
  1. Older Use. a person who suffers from tuberculosis.

Origin of consumptive

1375–1425; Middle English: eliminating morbid humors < Medieval Latin consūmptīvus wasteful, destructive; see consumption, -ive
Related formscon·sump·tive·ly, adverbcon·sump·tive·ness, nounnon·con·sump·tive, adjectivenon·con·sump·tive·ly, adverbnon·con·sump·tive·ness, nounun·con·sump·tive, adjectiveun·con·sump·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for consumptive


  1. causing consumption; wasteful; destructive
  2. pathol relating to or affected with consumption, esp tuberculosis of the lungs
  1. pathol a person who suffers from consumption
Derived Formsconsumptively, adverbconsumptiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for consumptive


early 15c., "wasteful," also with reference to pulmonary consumption, from Latin consumpt-, stem of consumere (see consume) + -ive. As a noun, attested from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

consumptive in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or afflicted with consumption.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.