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[kuh n-jest] /kənˈdʒɛst/
verb (used with object)
to fill to excess; overcrowd or overburden; clog:
The subway entrance was so congested that no one could move.
Pathology. to cause an unnatural accumulation of blood or other fluid in (a body part or blood vessel):
The cold congested her sinuses.
Obsolete. to heap together.
verb (used without object)
to become congested:
His throat congested with phlegm.
Origin of congest
1530-40; < Latin congestus (past participle of congerere; see congeries), equivalent to con- con- + ges- (variant stem of gerere) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
congestible, adjective
congestive, adjective
noncongestive, adjective
precongested, adjective
precongestive, adjective
supercongested, adjective
uncongested, adjective
uncongestive, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for congested
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The roads were so congested at these places that rapid progress was impossible.

  • The thick, congested mate seemed on the point of bursting with despondency.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • Hence the great pressure of work on railway employés, and the congested state of the traffic at Christmastide.

  • In the congested districts it seems to be everyone for himself.

  • Sometimes they take sheer delight in stirring up things in congested corners of dog town.

    Watched by Wild Animals Enos A. Mills
British Dictionary definitions for congested


crowded to excess; overfull
(of an organ or part) loaded or clogged with blood
(of the nose) blocked with mucus


to crowd or become crowded to excess; overfill
to overload or clog (an organ or part) with blood or (of an organ or part) to become overloaded or clogged with blood
(transitive; usually passive) to block (the nose) with mucus
Derived Forms
congestible, adjective
congestive, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin congestus pressed together, from congerere to assemble; see congeries
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for congested

1570s, "heaped up," past participle adjective from congest. Meaning "overcrowded" is recorded from 1862.



early 15c., "to bring together" (transitive), from Latin congestus, past participle of congerere "to bring together, pile up," from com- "together" (see com-) + gerere "to carry, perform" (see gest). Medical sense of "unnatural accumulation" (1758) led to transferred (intransitive) sense of "overcrowd" (1859). Related: Congested; congesting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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congested in Medicine

congested con·gest·ed (kən-jěs'tĭd)
Affected with or characterized by congestion.

congest con·gest (kən-jěst')
v. con·gest·ed, con·gest·ing, con·gests
To cause the accumulation of excessive blood or tissue fluid in a vessel or an organ.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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