Definition of digestive in English:



  • 1Relating to the process of digesting food.

    ‘digestive disorders’
    • ‘The digestive process begins in the mouth as the food is chewed and ground to reduce the size of the pieces of ingested food.’
    • ‘A potent immune-booster, it fights infections and can help with digestive disorders, urinary tract infections and PMS.’
    • ‘And many digestive disorders can be treated - if caught in the early stages.’
    • ‘The basic symptoms of stress are headaches, migraine, hypertension, and digestive disorders to name a few.’
    • ‘IBS is one of the most common disorders of the digestive tract, with about a fifth of people in the UK experiencing occasional symptoms.’
    • ‘To be calm and composed helps you increase the chewing time of food, which synchronizes properly with the rest of your digestive processes.’
    • ‘Gastro-enterologists the world over attribute many of the chronic digestive disorders to the hurried swallowing of food, which may be over spiced or oily.’
    • ‘The tea is a stimulant for digestive disorders and is particularly beneficial in the case of seasickness.’
    • ‘Now, I need to take digestive enzymes to help process my food, but I left them in Rochester.’
    • ‘It can restore harmony to hormonal imbalances and cure breathing disorders and digestive problems.’
    • ‘This is used to break down food as part of the digestive process.’
    • ‘An infusion made from the crushed foliage has cleansing and antiseptic properties and is used for soothing and healing skin wounds, and also as a remedy for certain digestive disorders.’
    • ‘Eating it regularly reduces problems like stomach and digestive disorders, anaemia, respiratory infections and diabetes.’
    • ‘These include increased blood pressure, cancers of the mouth and upper digestive system, cirrhosis of the liver, and pancreatic and other digestive disorders.’
    • ‘Different yoga postures can help a variety of ailments, from arthritis to digestive disorders, but many people use it as a simple relaxation tool.’
    • ‘It massages the abdominal muscles, alleviating digestive disorders.’
    • ‘The disease is more than just a disorder of the digestive system and affects the whole body.’
    • ‘Drinking with food can dilute acid and digestive enzymes, causing the digestive process to stall.’
    • ‘The stomach produces acid to break down food during the digestive process.’
    • ‘Because spotted hyenas have the ability to consume large amounts of food, body mass can be influenced by the amount of food in the digestive system.’
    1. 1.1 (of food or medicine) aiding or promoting the process of digestion.
      ‘tubes of digestive mints’
      • ‘Peppermint is often gentler than other digestive herbs, such as ginger and cayenne; the aroma alone has a sedating and calming effect on many.’
      • ‘They're all anti-bloating medicines, antacids, digestive aids, all things to put out the fire in our stomachs from the poison we call lunch.’
      • ‘Why take the less expensive, older arthritis or digestive drugs when someone else will pay for the more expensive, newer, drugs?’
      • ‘The prescription is straight forward with blood tonics, spleen and digestive herbs, Tian Ma and Qiang Huo for the hair as well as Man Jing Zi.’
      • ‘Omit it all together or try adding digestive herbs such as Chen Pi and Sha Ren.’


  • 1A food, drink, or medicine that aids or promotes the digestion of food.

    • ‘The result is a vodka with silken, subtle flavors that, unlike most, can be served at room temperature rather than chilled and can be drunk as a digestive as well as in a martini or a mixer.’
    • ‘It is frequently used as a digestive and, when made into an infusion and cooled, as an eye-wash and a cleanser for superficial wounds.’
    • ‘The company is to launch a new Ayurvedic range that includes a whole range of products for treating cough and cold, memory enhancers, blood purifiers and digestives.’
    • ‘With a small mortar and pestle she mashed dried coriander seed from Timothy's garden and added it to the peaberry to soften its acidic taste and to serve as a digestive.’
    • ‘They are the ideal digestive for warming up in the frigid months of winter.’
    • ‘After the meal came a much-appreciated dressed green salad that worked as a digestive.’
    • ‘On May 27, the theme will be Strawberries and will include the chef's Table menu with several aperitifs, fine Bulgarian wines, digestives and coffee.’
    • ‘In fact, ginkgo was used by the Chinese as a digestive and kidney tonic for thousands of years before brain attributes were discovered by modern scientists.’
  • 2British A round semi-sweet biscuit made of wholemeal flour.

    • ‘Well, she acknowledges, as we sit together drinking tea and nibbling chocolate digestives in the garden of their Victorian house, it is presumptuous, writing your memoirs.’
    • ‘Apart from that the day was a complete non-event and as soon as I got home I crashed in front of the telly with a cup of tea and a packet of chocolate digestives.’
    • ‘Surely he could be persuaded to have a chocolate digestive.’
    • ‘Help yourselves to a cup of tea and a chocolate digestive, or we have weak orange squash for the very nervous amongst you.’
    • ‘Its not exactly digestives and a coffee by a roaring open fire but its heartwarming stuff tonight as real evidence of an ever growing and emerging hard rock scene takes root.’
    • ‘Anyway, your tea is very pleasant - although I do find that it makes me utterly famished; if I'm dunking I need an entire pack of digestives.’
    • ‘In the course of the London-Oxford journey she consumed nearly a whole packet of chocolate digestives.’
    • ‘But this, spotted today at about 3pm, really takes the digestive biscuit.’
    • ‘Secondly, while the restaurant has a few guest rooms, the packet of digestives on the in-room tea tray was several months past its sell-by date.’
    • ‘Spent the afternoon munching digestives, which were the low fat alternative that shatter all over the desk and your lap.’
    • ‘Decorated digestives, vegetable people and miniature gardens were just some of the more artistic classes.’
    • ‘I was just thinking how nice these chocolate digestives were when I read your mail asking for a fitness update.’
    • ‘Pensioners can have a cup of tea and a biscuit for 5p and all the gardeners roll up to dunk their digestives in the afternoon sunshine.’
    • ‘Combine the digestives and butter and press into the base and a little way up the sides of a 24 cm springform pan, lightly buttered.’
    • ‘But the A9 was choked with roadworks and elderly Germans in caravans, causing much crankiness and scoffing of chocolate digestives.’
    • ‘If you eat two chocolate digestive biscuits, they cancel each other out.’
    • ‘Carrie spied the two chocolate digestives I had put on her saucer.’
    • ‘Let cool to room temperature, and serve with shortbread cookies or digestive biscuits.’
    • ‘Focusing on relationships, parenting, pregnancy and health, it's an online coffee morning complete with virtual chocolate digestives, milky lattes and plenty of advice.’
    • ‘Melt the dark chocolate, 100g of milk chocolate, the butter and syrup together and then stir in the digestives.’


Late Middle English: from Old French digestif, -ive or Latin digestivus, from digest- ‘digested’, from the verb digerere (see digest).