Abstinence definition

ăbstə-nəns
The act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite or desire, especially for alcoholic drink or sexual intercourse.
noun
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The act of voluntarily doing without some or all food, drink, or other pleasures.
  • Abstention from alcoholic beverages.
  • Abstention from sexual intercourse.
noun
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2
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.

noun
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(r.c.ch.) Abstention from flesh meat on certain designated days.
noun
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2
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.]
noun
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The practice of self-denial; self-restraint; forebearance from anything. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
noun
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(business) Delay of spending to accrue capital.
noun
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
abstinence
Plural:
abstinences

Origin of abstinence

  • Middle English from Old French abstenance from Latin abstinentia from abstinēns abstinent- present participle of abstinēre to hold back abstain

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English, from Old French astinence, from Latin abstinentia, from abstinens, present participle of abstinēō (“withhold”).

    From Wiktionary