[dih-jes-tiv, dahy-]


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


a substance promoting digestion.

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

Contemporary Examples of digestive

Historical Examples of digestive

  • The digestive organs are weakened by illness, and should not be unduly taxed.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

  • Then there may be diarrhœa, loss of appetite, and other digestive disturbances.

    Rural Hygiene

    Henry N. Ogden

  • In the most startling way that is true for the digestive apparatus.


    Hugo Mnsterberg

  • Loss of appetite is a sign that the digestive organs require a rest.

    No Animal Food

    Rupert H. Wheldon

  • Strenuous exercise after meals is often the cause of digestive disorders.

    No Animal Food

    Rupert H. Wheldon

British Dictionary definitions for digestive


digestant (daɪˈdʒɛstənt)


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

digestive in Medicine


[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.