• WordNet 3.6
    • adj costive retarding evacuation of feces; binding; constipating
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Costive Dry and hard; impermeable; unyielding. "Clay in dry seasons is costive , hardening with the sun and wind."
    • Costive Reserved; formal; close; cold. "A costive brain.""Costive of laughter.""You must be frank, but without indiscretion; and close, but without being costive ."
    • Costive Retaining fecal matter in the bowels; having too slow a motion of the bowels; constipated.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • costive Suffering from a morbid retention of fecal matter in the bowels, in a hard and dry state; having the excrements retained, or the motion of the bowels sluggish or suppressed; constipated.
    • costive Figuratively, slow in action; especially, slow in giving forth ideas or opinions, etc.; uncommunicative; close; unproductive.
    • costive Hard and dry; caked.
    • costive Producing costiveness.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Costive kos′tiv having the motion of the bowels too slow: constipated
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. costevé, p. p. of costever, F. constiper, L. constipare, to press closely together, to cram; con-, + stipare, to press together, cram. See Stipulate Stiff, and cf. Constipate
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. constipé. See Constipate.


In literature:

The animal becomes costive, and the shivering fits recur.
"Cattle and Their Diseases" by Robert Jennings
F. Symptoms that usually accompany fever are present, such as costiveness, scanty, dark-colored urine, etc.
"Special Report on Diseases of the Horse" by United States Department of Agriculture
He took no other medicine, except a little rhubarb when costive.
"An Account of the Foxglove and some of its Medical Uses" by William Withering
Jaundice, Costiveness, Headache, Sideache, Heartburn.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol 2, No 6, December 1862" by Various
The pulse is small, feeble and frequent, and the bowels costive.
"An Epitome of Homeopathic Healing Art" by B. L. Hill
The third day, the patient was packed twice, and had four baths, and the bowels being costive, an injection of tepid water in the evening.
"Hydriatic treatment of Scarlet Fever in its Different Forms" by Charles Munde
The stool is rather costive, especially with larger children; but diarrhoea may attend this disease.
"Prof. Koch's Method to Cure Tuberculosis Popularly Treated" by Max Birnbaum
It is generally attended with costiveness and emaciation.
"Zoonomia, Vol. II" by Erasmus Darwin
Costiveness, effects of, 53.
"Popular Education" by Ira Mayhew
This gruel is proper for children, or persons of a costive habit.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
There is usually marked thirst, the bowels are costive, and dung is passed with pain and effort.
"Special Report on Diseases of Cattle" by U.S. Department of Agriculture
I was of a costive, dyspeptic habit, which has been entirely removed.
"Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men, and by Experience in All Ages" by William Andrus Alcott
At least, Stoddard, you now see that, although so costive, when I once begin I am a copious letter-writer.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
If they are costive, put in a little melted lard, or some kind of inoffensive oil.
"Soil Culture" by J. H. Walden
Her Pulse was quick and strong, and she was inclined to be costive.
"An Account of the Diseases which were most frequent in the British military hospitals in Germany" by Donald Monro
Such keep fattens to excess, destroys activity, renders the bowels costive, and causes the teeth to be encrusted with tartar.
"The Dog" by Dinks, Mayhew, and Hutchinson
Habitual costiveness and the presence of calculi, are frequent causes of spasmodic colic.
"Domestic Animals" by Richard L. Allen
But she's plenty costive to run.
"J. Poindexter, Colored" by Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
There are some circumstances unconnected with disease of mind, which might dispose insane persons to costiveness.
"Observations on Madness and Melancholy" by John Haslam
He should be guarded against Costiveness by a soft relaxing Diet, or by Glysters, and bathe his Legs once a Day in warm Water.
"Advice to the people in general, with regard to their health" by Samuel Auguste David Tissot

In poetry:

"If Justice Philips' costive head
Some frigid Rhymes disburses;
They shall like Persian Tales be read,
And glad both Babes and Nurses.
"Sandys Ghost ; A Proper Ballad on the New Ovid's Metamorphosis" by Alexander Pope