constipation

[kon-stuh-pey-shuhn]
noun
1.
a condition of the bowels in which the feces are dry and hardened and evacuation is difficult and infrequent.
2.
Informal. a state of slowing down, sluggishness, or inactivity.
3.
Obsolete. the act of crowding anything into a smaller compass; condensation.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English constipacioun (< Middle French) < Late Latin constīpātiōn- (stem of constīpātiō). See constipate, -ion

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Collins
World English Dictionary
constipation (ˌkɒnstɪˈpeɪʃən)
 
n
infrequent or difficult evacuation of the bowels, with hard faeces, caused by functional or organic disorders or improper diet

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

constipation
c.1400, from L.L. constipationem, from L. constipare "to press or crowd together," from com- "together" + stipare "to cram, pack" (see stiff). Specifically of the bowel condition since 1549.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

constipation con·sti·pa·tion (kŏn'stə-pā'shən)
n.
Difficult, incomplete, or infrequent evacuation of dry, hardened feces from the bowels.

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

constipation

delayed passage of waste through the lower portion of the large intestine, with the possible discharge of relatively dry, hardened feces from the anus. Among the causes cited for the disorder are lack of regularity in one's eating habits, spasms of the large intestine, metabolic diseases such as hypothyroidism or diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders such as a stroke, certain medications including morphine, codeine, antidepressants, and antispasmodics, lack of sufficient fibre in one's food, and excessive use of laxatives. Constipation may also be caused by intestinal obstruction by tumours or polyps or by weakness of the abdominal muscles. Temporary constipation most often occurs in conjunction with a change or interruption in one's usual activities, as in travel, temporary confinement to bed, or a change in eating or sleeping habits. In most cases, dietary and lifestyle changes can help relieve constipation.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Decreased or absent bowel sounds often indicate constipation.
Drugs designed to induce constipation afford only temporary relief.
Morphine shots can carry many side effects, he said-especially constipation.
Constipation affects mostly those who are dyspeptic or who sit too much or too
  long.
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