[kuh n-suhmp-tiv]


tending to consume; destructive; wasteful.
pertaining to consumption by use.
  1. pertaining to or of the nature of consumption.
  2. disposed to or affected with consumption.


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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for consumptive

devastating, harmful, immoderate, wasteful

Examples from the Web for consumptive

Contemporary Examples of consumptive

  • Watching it in public, on the other hand, exposes these films as just another method of molding of our consumptive urges.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The New Fashion Porn

    Renata Espinosa

    December 18, 2008

Historical Examples of consumptive

British Dictionary definitions for consumptive



causing consumption; wasteful; destructive
pathol relating to or affected with consumption, esp tuberculosis of the lungs


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




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.