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[kur-siv] /ˈkɜr sɪv/
(of handwriting) in flowing strokes with the letters joined together.
Printing. in flowing strokes resembling handwriting.
a cursive letter or character.
Printing. a style of typeface simulating handwriting.
Origin of cursive
1775-85; < Medieval Latin cursīvus flowing (said of penmanship), equivalent to Latin curs(us) (past participle of currere to run) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
cursively, adverb
cursiveness, noun
noncursive, adjective
noncursively, adverb
transcursive, adjective
transcursively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cursive
  • He got my name engraved on the last one- first and middle name in cursive.
  • As one of my professors once explained, doing surgery is no more physically difficult than writing in cursive.
  • Each page within was covered in their father's neat, extraordinarily tiny handwriting-the cursive equivalent of three-point type.
  • The soothing voice was part of the shtick, along with the dreamy graphics and cursive typeface.
  • But in tattoos, you often have crazy cursive or medieval looking script.
  • The students are working to expand the software so that it can recognize lowercase letters as well as cursive writing.
  • At the second grade level, the third handwriting sample was written in manuscript while the fourth was in cursive.
  • Use legible cursive writing and/or a word processor when publishing written work.
  • The cursive script is not in general use, and is a purely artistic calligraphic style.
British Dictionary definitions for cursive


of or relating to handwriting in which letters are formed and joined in a rapid flowing style
(printing) of or relating to typefaces that resemble handwriting
a cursive letter or printing type
a manuscript written in cursive letters
Derived Forms
cursively, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from Medieval Latin cursīvus running, ultimately from Latin currere to run
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 cursive

1784, from French cursif (18c.), from Medieval Latin cursivus "running," from Latin cursus "a running," from past participle of currere "to run" (see current (adj.)). The notion is of "written with a running hand" (without raising the pen), originally as opposed to the older uncial hand.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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