[ kur-siv ]
/ ˈkɜr sɪv /


(of handwriting) in flowing strokes with the letters joined together.
Printing. in flowing strokes resembling handwriting.


a cursive letter or character.
Printing. a style of typeface simulating handwriting.

Nearby words

  1. curse,
  2. curse word,
  3. cursed,
  4. cursedly,
  5. curses,
  6. cursively,
  7. cursor,
  8. cursorial,
  9. cursory,
  10. curst

Origin of cursive

1775–85; < Medieval Latin cursīvus flowing (said of penmanship), equivalent to Latin curs(us) (past participle of currere to run) + -īvus -ive

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

Examples from the Web for cursive

British Dictionary definitions for cursive


/ (ˈkɜːsɪv) /


of or relating to handwriting in which letters are formed and joined in a rapid flowing style
printing of or relating to typefaces that resemble handwriting


a cursive letter or printing type
a manuscript written in cursive letters
Derived Formscursively, adverb

Word Origin for cursive

C18: from Medieval Latin cursīvus running, ultimately from Latin currere to run

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 cursive



1784, from French cursif (18c.), from Medieval Latin cursivus "running," from Latin cursus "a running," from past participle of currere "to run" (see current (adj.)). The notion is of "written with a running hand" (without raising the pen), originally as opposed to the older uncial hand.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper