Definition of constipation in English:



mass noun
  • 1A condition in which there is difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened faeces.

    • ‘Other commonly associated symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and constipation or diarrhea.’
    • ‘These agents are not recommended for use in patients with severe chronic constipation or bowel disease.’
    • ‘Women are more likely to suffer from constipation than diarrhoea.’
    • ‘The drug should not be used by patients who are currently constipated or whose main bowel symptom is constipation.’
    • ‘Other possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, stomachache or constipation.’
    • ‘Side-effects of antacids can include looseness of the bowels and constipation.’
    • ‘A doctor may also prescribe medications to relieve diarrhea or constipation.’
    • ‘Commonly in my practice the condition alternates between constipation and diarrhea.’
    • ‘Common causes of fecal incontinence include constipation, diarrhea, and muscle or nerve damage.’
    • ‘It is easy on the digestive system so the baby is less likely to have constipation or diarrhea.’
    • ‘It isn't a disease but may be a symptom of severe constipation or emotional difficulties related to stool holding.’
    • ‘Nausea, diarrhea, constipation and dehydration may all be side effects of chemotherapy.’
    • ‘When severe, the pain can be accompanied by nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation or feeling faint.’
    • ‘The pain was crampy, located in the left upper quadrant, and initially associated with constipation.’
    • ‘This helps the body to eliminate toxins and waste products, and will also help counteract the common pregnancy complaints of constipation and nausea.’
    • ‘Some people suffer from sore throats, attacks of diarrhea or constipation, and their skin may have a mottled look.’
    • ‘Constipation, diarrhoea or alternating constipation and diarrhoea are common symptoms.’
    • ‘At times, those with inflammatory bowel disease may also have constipation.’
    • ‘Symptoms include tiredness, constipation and sensitivity to the cold.’
    • ‘Other symptoms include fever, constipation and swelling of the stomach.’
    1. 1.1 A high level of constraint or restriction.
      ‘literary constipation’
      • ‘I guess you could say it's a cure for creative constipation.’
      • ‘I'm having Creative Constipation.’
      • ‘My grueling five days of creative constipation has ended!’
      • ‘The result has been a form of social constipation, a culture of non-performance in regard to expeditious implementation.’
      • ‘Wales's gregariousness is real enough, but so is the chronic social constipation of its governing classes in which everyone knows everyone else.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘contraction of body tissues’): from late Latin constipatio(n-), from the verb constipare (see constipated).