[kos-tiv, kaw-stiv]
  1. suffering from constipation; constipated.
  2. slow in action or in expressing ideas, opinions, etc.
  3. Obsolete. stingy; tight-fisted.

Origin of costive

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French *costif, for Middle French costivé, past participle of costiver to constipate < Latin constīpāre (see constipate)
Related formscos·tive·ly, adverbcos·tive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for costiveness

Historical Examples of costiveness

British Dictionary definitions for costiveness


  1. having constipation; constipated
  2. sluggish
  3. niggardly
Derived Formscostively, adverbcostiveness, noun

Word Origin for costive

C14: from Old French costivé, from Latin constipātus; see constipate
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 costiveness



c.1400, from Middle French costivé, from Latin constipatus, past participle of constipare (see constipation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

costiveness in Medicine


  1. Suffering from constipation.
  2. Causing constipation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.