- The definition of abstinence is choosing not to engage in a certain behavior, or not giving in to a desire or appetite.
An example of abstinence is a recovering alcoholic that no longer drinks.
- the act of voluntarily doing without some or all food, drink, or other pleasures
- R.C.Ch. abstention from flesh meat on certain designated days
Origin of abstinenceMiddle English ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin abstinentia ; from present participle of abstinere: see abstain
Origin of abstinenceMiddle English, from Old French abstenance, from Latin abstinentia, from abstinēns, abstinent-, present participle of abstinēre, to hold back; see abstain.
- The act or practice of abstaining, refraining from indulging a desire or appetite. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.]
- Specifically, the practice of abstaining from intoxicating/alcoholic beverages; total abstinence; teetotalism). [First attested around 1150 to 1350.]
- Specifically, the practice of abstaining from sexual intercourse, either permanently or until marriage. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.]
- (ecclesiastical) Abstention from certain foods on days of penitential observance. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.]
- The practice of self-denial; self-restraint; forebearance from anything. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
- (business) Delay of spending to accrue capital.
From Middle English, from Old French astinence, from Latin abstinentia, from abstinens, present participle of abstinēō (“withhold”).