[kuh n-jest]

verb (used with object)

to fill to excess; overcrowd or overburden; clog: The subway entrance was so congested that no one could move.
Pathology. to cause an unnatural accumulation of blood or other fluid in (a body part or blood vessel): The cold congested her sinuses.
Obsolete. to heap together.

verb (used without object)

to become congested: His throat congested with phlegm.

Origin of congest

1530–40; < Latin congestus (past participle of congerere; see congeries), equivalent to con- con- + ges- (variant stem of gerere) + -tus past participle suffix
Related formscon·gest·i·ble, adjectivecon·ges·tive, adjectivenon·con·ges·tive, adjectivepre·con·gest·ed, adjectivepre·con·ges·tive, adjectivesu·per·con·gest·ed, adjectiveun·con·gest·ed, adjectiveun·con·ges·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for congested

Contemporary Examples of congested

Historical Examples of congested

  • Take the boats, nets, and so on, given to the congested districts.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • In repose, his congested face had a humorously melancholy expression.


    Joseph Conrad

  • The thick, congested mate seemed on the point of bursting with despondency.


    Joseph Conrad

  • A dozen playgrounds will be laid out in the congested districts.

    A Woman for Mayor

    Helen M. Winslow

  • In the congested districts it seems to be everyone for himself.

British Dictionary definitions for congested



crowded to excess; overfull
(of an organ or part) loaded or clogged with blood
(of the nose) blocked with mucus



to crowd or become crowded to excess; overfill
to overload or clog (an organ or part) with blood or (of an organ or part) to become overloaded or clogged with blood
(tr; usually passive) to block (the nose) with mucus
Derived Formscongestible, adjectivecongestive, adjective

Word Origin for congest

C16: from Latin congestus pressed together, from congerere to assemble; see congeries
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 congested

1570s, "heaped up," past participle adjective from congest. Meaning "overcrowded" is recorded from 1862.



early 15c., "to bring together" (transitive), from Latin congestus, past participle of congerere "to bring together, pile up," from com- "together" (see com-) + gerere "to carry, perform" (see gest). Medical sense of "unnatural accumulation" (1758) led to transferred (intransitive) sense of "overcrowd" (1859). Related: Congested; congesting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for congested




Affected with or characterized by congestion.




To cause the accumulation of excessive blood or tissue fluid in a vessel or an organ.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.