[ dih-jes-tiv, dahy- ]
/ dɪˈdʒɛs tɪv, daɪ- /


serving for or pertaining to digestion; having the function of digesting food: the digestive tract.
promoting digestion.


a substance promoting digestion.

Nearby words

  1. digestant,
  2. digester,
  3. digestible,
  4. digestif,
  5. digestion,
  6. digestive biscuit,
  7. digestive gland,
  8. digestive system,
  9. digestive tract,
  10. digestively

Origin of digestive

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French digestif < Latin dīgestīvus, equivalent to dīgest(us) (see digest) + -īvus -ive

Related formsdi·ges·tive·ly, adverbnon·di·ges·tive, adjectivepost·di·ges·tive, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for digestive

British Dictionary definitions for digestive


digestant (daɪˈdʒɛstənt)

/ (dɪˈdʒɛstɪv, daɪ-) /


relating to, aiding, or subjecting to digestiona digestive enzyme


a less common word for digestant
Derived Formsdigestively, adverb

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 digestive



late 14c., from Old French digestif (14c.), from Late Latin digestivus "pertaining to digestion," from past participle stem of Latin digerere (see digest (n.)). From 1530s as an adjective. The noun in the French form digestif is attested from 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for digestive


[ dī-jĕstĭv, dĭ- ]


Of or relating to digestion.


A digestant.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.