- The definition of celibate is refraining from sexual relations, usually for religious reasons.
A priest is an example of someone who is celibate.
celibate definition by Webster's New World
- an unmarried person, esp. one under a vow to remain unmarried
- one who abstains from sexual intercourse
Origin: Classical Latin caelibatus ; from caelebs, unmarried (; from Indo-European base an unverified form kaiwelo-, alone) plush an unverified form lib(h)s-, living (from source live)
celibate definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- One who abstains from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows.
- One who is unmarried.
- Abstaining from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows.
- Unmarried; unwed.
Origin: Latin caelibātus, from caelebs, caelib-, unmarried.Usage Note: Historically, celibate means only “unmarried”; its use to mean “abstaining from sexual intercourse” is a 20th-century development. But the new sense of the word seems to have displaced the old, and the use of celibate to mean “unmarried” is now almost sure to invite misinterpretation in other than narrowly ecclesiastical contexts. Sixty-eight percent of the Usage Panel rejected the older use in the sentence He remained celibate [unmarried], although he engaged in sexual intercourse.