Definition of constipation in English:



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

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