[ kuhn-suhmp-tiv ]
See synonyms for: consumptiveconsumptives on

  1. tending to consume; destructive; wasteful.

  2. relating to consumption by use.

  1. Pathology.

  1. Older Use. a person with tuberculosis.

Origin of consumptive

First recorded in 1375–1425; Middle English adjective and noun consumptif “eliminating or reducing morbid humors or tissue; an agent that eliminates or reduces morbid humors or tissue,” from Medieval Latin consūmptīvum, noun use of adjective consūmptīvus “wasteful, destructive; suffering from pulmonary consumption”; see origin at consumption, -ive

Other words from consumptive

  • con·sump·tive·ly, adverb
  • con·sump·tive·ness, noun
  • non·con·sump·tive, adjective
  • non·con·sump·tive·ly, adverb
  • non·con·sump·tive·ness, noun
  • un·con·sump·tive, adjective
  • un·con·sump·tive·ly, adverb

Words Nearby consumptive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use consumptive in a sentence

  • Hippocrates pointed out as one of the symptoms of consumption the spes phthisical or consumptive hope.

  • It was made up of a consumptive wife, a young husband and one or two children.

    Marriage la mode | Mrs. Humphry Ward

British Dictionary definitions for consumptive


/ (kənˈsʌmptɪv) /

  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 forms of consumptive

  • consumptively, adverb
  • consumptiveness, 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