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[dih-jes-tiv, dahy-] /dɪˈdʒɛs tɪv, daɪ-/
serving for or pertaining to digestion; having the function of digesting food:
the digestive tract.
promoting digestion.
a substance promoting digestion.
Origin of digestive
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French digestif < Latin dīgestīvus, equivalent to dīgest(us) (see digest) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
digestively, adverb
nondigestive, adjective
postdigestive, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for digestive
  • Although good for the plants, it is not so good for the human digestive system.
  • The reddish leaves curl into tubes that lure insects that fall into digestive enzymes in the bottom, feeding the plant.
  • Many mammals have enzymes in their digestive tract that detoxify plants that would otherwise be harmful.
  • Natural healthy bacteria in the digestive system appears to provide beneficial skin health as well.
  • These bacteria can be thought of as an additional digestive organ.
  • Their digestive enzymes ferment the beans and break down the proteins.
  • Our digestive systems have evolved significantly around the practice of eating cooked, easily digestible foods.
  • Faeces are food that has been processed by the human digestive system to extract as much useful energy as possible.
  • Obese adults are not going to lose weight unless they decide to have their stomachs separated from their digestive tracts.
  • Pandas get sick easily, mainly for digestive-tract reasons.
British Dictionary definitions for digestive


/dɪˈdʒɛstɪv; daɪ-/
relating to, aiding, or subjecting to digestion: a digestive enzyme
a less common word for digestant
short for digestive biscuit
Derived Forms
digestively, adverb
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 digestive

late 14c., from Old French digestif (14c.), from Late Latin digestivus "pertaining to digestion," from past participle stem of Latin digerere (see digest (n.)). From 1530s as an adjective. The noun in the French form digestif is attested from 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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digestive in Medicine

digestive di·ges·tive (dī-jěs'tĭv, dĭ-)
Of or relating to digestion. n.
A digestant.

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