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.] 1. Retaining fecal matter in the bowels; having too slow a motion of the bowels; constipated.
2. Reserved; formal; close; cold.
[Obs.] "A costive brain."
Prior. "Costive of laughter."
You must be frank, but without indiscretion; and close, but without being costive.Lord Chesterfield.
3. Dry and hard; impermeable; unyielding.
Clay in dry seasons is costive, hardening with the sun and wind.Mortimer.
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