Definition of cursive in US English:



  • Written with the characters joined.

    ‘cursive script’
    • ‘The cursive style and the swooshing top curve gave our logo a modern and active look.’
    • ‘Arsham's piece was a small gray model of a parking garage complete with tiny streetlights; seen from overhead, the structure formed the word ‘regret’ written in cursive script.’
    • ‘The Su Tongpo poetry of the Kusoshi is printed in clear, blockish characters, while the waka verses appear in a mixture of cursive characters and kana syllables.’
    • ‘Then I fell to my knees and wrote I love Zach neatly in my slanted cursive script across the pavement.’
    • ‘What I write down during a meeting as cursive script is translated into typed text as I write, and appears in my mail folders when I get back to my office desk.’
    • ‘Hiragana are used in writing verb endings, adverbs, conjunctions, and various sentence particles and are written in a cursive, smooth style.’
    • ‘It was a small white envelope, his address written with golden cursive penmanship.’
    • ‘Finding a thick notebook, she began writing in cursive loops of the events significant in their lives.’
    • ‘In response, he developed a modified version of the Arabic alphabet in which each letter has a single form and in which letters can be written separately rather than linked together in the usual cursive style.’
    • ‘The first notes were just that: pieces of paper printed on one side with lettering in cursive style in inky black and white.’
    • ‘Unlike the more cursive style of contemporary scribes, this hand is akin to a conventional liturgical script.’
    • ‘By the 10th century, there were said to be at least twenty different cursive styles of script that had proliferated over the years, largely used for personal correspondence or to meet the needs of the bureaucrats and merchants.’
    • ‘A single note on pristine white paper and written in a highly cursive hand lay on the pillow.’
    • ‘She starred at the sign of an old neon tent with the words neatly written in cursive strands of Neon tubes.’
    • ‘Hiragana is a cursive script used for writing grammatical elements and some native words, and is the main medium for young children's books.’
    • ‘A rarity is the bowl in the shape of an abalone shell shown in Plates V and Va, which has a classical Japanese poem written in cursive script on the edge of the bowl while the figural scene illustrates the poem.’
    • ‘The letter is also written in print, not in cursive script, perhaps to ensure legibility in a cramped space.’
    • ‘It is written in a flowing cursive script in alphabet that has never been seen elsewhere.’
    • ‘Grandma fills her letters with the mundane day-to-day activities of a woman approaching eighty along with all the gossip of the small rural district she lives in, all written in this fantastic cursive script.’
    • ‘By the 13th century England had reinvented cursive script for documents (cursiva anglicana), joined in the early 14th century by French ‘secretary’.’


  • Cursive writing.

    • ‘I really never figured out why we had to learn it, the only people I see who use cursive, I can't read their handwriting anyway.’
    • ‘He slides his thumb under the sealed envelope, pulls out the notebook piece of paper, and begins to read the loopy, girly cursive.’
    • ‘Around pink and yellow blossoms against a pearlescent greenish-blue sky, the word ‘lie’ recurs, in gloppy white cursive in a jumbled web with a central, sooty smudge.’
    • ‘As Zach flipped to the last page, he was startled to see a note to Mr. Warren written in the neatest cursive Zach had ever seen.’
    • ‘Now that she had jot down in her hard cover dark green diary with her name in cursive on the inside cover, Connie then decided to call it a night and accumulate the last five and a half hours of sleep under her fluffy flannel red and black linens.’
    • ‘Uncial continued to be used for high-grade books, especially in Italy and Gaul, but throughout much of the West minuscules emerged influenced by Roman cursive, with attendant problems of lack of consistency and legibility.’
    • ‘Kris was hiding behind her hair the best she could but was wearing a pair of ripped jeans, a white tee with the words Coca-Cola written across the chest in red cursive, her black hoodie with the large heart-a-gram on the back and her Chucks.’
    • ‘In perfect, flawless, sharp cursive, it read, ‘what are you talking about?’’
    • ‘While I can not claim that italic cursive is the easiest thing to learn, it does look very nice.’
    • ‘It had ‘Meredith’ in cursive on the front of it, and it wasn't sealed.’
    • ‘New cursive is the form that Roman minuscule assumed in about the fourth - fifth century in the documentary, administrative, and common writings of the empire, and it became the most widespread and free style of late ancient Latin writing.’
    • ‘‘So I've heard,’ came the reply, dryly, as the brunette began to carefully copy his name in childish cursive.’
    • ‘She would lean over shoulders in supermarkets, bend over wrinkled, hunched backs and peer underneath registers to look at traces of sentences being scribbled in cursive.’
    • ‘in many other classrooms, traditional cursive is on its way out.’
    • ‘You've probably noticed that the word ‘attack’ is spelled in a festive, alternative fashion, and the phrase ‘Apple Head’ is in cursive.’
    • ‘Striding up to the front of the room he scrawled a message in neat cursive across the white board, ‘Stayed for 30, had to go.’’
    • ‘The handwriting was perfect cursive, every letter formed with care.’
    • ‘Sitting down at my desk, I took out my diary and set it out, flipping through the pages and seeing my own flowing cursive, seeing the curses, seeing the dreams, and I could see everything just flowing by like time could be tracked.’
    • ‘On it, in writing that varied from an insane, calligraphy-like version of printing to a sharp, illegible cursive, were all the pros and cons of sneaking Amadeo food.’
    • ‘She had on an oversize hooded red sweatshirt with Falcon baseball across the front in white cursive, which matched the white shorts she was wearing and tie-dyed red and white knee socks.’


Late 18th century: from medieval Latin cursivus, from Latin curs- ‘run’, from the verb currere.