- 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
The act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite or desire, especially for alcoholic drink or sexual intercourse.
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.]
- Penance, fasts, and abstinence, / To punish bodies for the soul's offense. - John Dryden
- The abstinence from a present pleasure that offers itself is a pain, nay, oftentimes, a very great one. — John Locke
- Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation. — St Augustine
- 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.