Cos"tive (k?s"t?v), a. [OF. costev, 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.]


Retaining fecal matter in the bowels; having too slow a motion of the bowels; constipated.


Reserved; formal; close; cold.

[Obs.] "A costive brain." Prior. "Costive of laughter." B. Jonson.

You must be frank, but without indiscretion; and close, but without being costive. Lord Chesterfield.


Dry and hard; impermeable; unyielding.


Clay in dry seasons is costive, hardening with the sun and wind. Mortimer.


© Webster 1913.

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