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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for congestive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is a form of congestive apoplexy affecting cattle which are in a plethoric condition.

    Special Report on Diseases of Cattle U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • He was taken in the night with what was supposed to be a congestive chill.

  • On an average, about 1/5 to 1/4 of the deaths annually occur from bilious remittent, congestive and typhus fever.

    The South-West Jonathon Holt Ingraham
  • This fever is often tenacious and intermittent; sometimes it is congestive.

    The Delight Makers Adolf Bandelier
  • congestive fevers and agues are then quite common, and the wealthier orders retire to the high lands of the interior.

    Los Gringos H. A. (Henry Agustus) Wise
British Dictionary definitions for congestive


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 congestive

1846, from congest + -ive. Congestive heart failure is recorded from 1928.



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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congestive in Medicine

congestive con·ges·tive (kən-jěs'tĭv)
Of 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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