• synonyms


verb (used with object), con·sti·pat·ed, con·sti·pat·ing.
  1. to cause constipation in; make costive.
  2. Informal. to cause to become slow-moving or immobilized; restrict the action or effectiveness of: Bureaucratic red tape can constipate the operations of any government agency.
  3. Obsolete. to crowd or pack closely together.
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Origin of constipate

1375–1425; late Middle English (past participle) < Latin constīpātus (past participle of constīpāre), equivalent to con- con- + stīpā- (stem of stīpāre to crowd, press) + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsun·con·sti·pat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for constipating

fester, stall, hibernate, languish, muzzle, suppress, smother, repress, suffocate, curb, squelch, strangle, silence, decline, decay, stultify, trammel, idle, stand, putrefy

Examples from the Web for constipating

Historical Examples of constipating

British Dictionary definitions for constipating


  1. (tr) to cause constipation in
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Word Origin for constipate

C16: from Latin constīpāre to press closely together, from stīpāre to crowd together
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 constipating



1530s, in part a back-formation from constipation, in part from Latin constipatus, past participle of constipare (see constipation). Earlier as an adjective (early 15c.); an earlier verb in this sense was constipen (late 14c.). Related: Constipated; constipating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

constipating in Medicine


  1. To cause constipation in the bowels.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.