• synonyms


[kuh n-jest]
verb (used with object)
  1. to fill to excess; overcrowd or overburden; clog: The subway entrance was so congested that no one could move.
  2. Pathology. to cause an unnatural accumulation of blood or other fluid in (a body part or blood vessel): The cold congested her sinuses.
  3. Obsolete. to heap together.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become congested: His throat congested with phlegm.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for congestive


  1. to crowd or become crowded to excess; overfill
  2. to overload or clog (an organ or part) with blood or (of an organ or part) to become overloaded or clogged with blood
  3. (tr; usually passive) to block (the nose) with mucus
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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 congestive


1846, from congest + -ive. Congestive heart failure is recorded from 1928.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

congestive in Medicine


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