Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite or desire, especially for alcoholic drink or sexual intercourse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Delay of spending to accrue capital.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or practice of abstaining; voluntary forbearance of any action, especially the refraining from an indulgence of appetite, or from customary gratifications of animal or sensual propensities. Specifically, the practice of abstaining from intoxicating beverages, -- called also total abstinence.
  • n. The practice of self-denial by depriving one's self of certain kinds of food or drink, especially of meat.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In general, the act or practice of voluntarily refraining from the use of something or from some action; abnegation.
  • n. More specifically The refraining from indulgence in the pleasures of the table, or from customary gratifications of the senses or the intellect, either partially or wholly.
  • n. In a still narrower sense— Forbearance from the use of alcoholic liquors as a beverage: in this sense usually preceded by the adjective total. Eccles., the refraining from certain kinds of food or drink on certain days, as from flesh on Fridays.
  • n. The act of abstaining from the use of, or from the doing of, something; specifically, in economics, voluntary abstention from the consumption of anything which one has the power of consuming or using, with the purpose of increasing one's resources or accumulating wealth for future enjoyment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the trait of abstaining (especially from alcohol)
  • n. act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French abstenance, from Latin abstinentia, from abstinēns, abstinent-, present participle of abstinēre, to hold back; see abstain.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French astinence, from Latin abstinentia, from abstinens, present participle of abstinēō ("withhold"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • JM recognises that abstinence leaves a lot to be desired.

    June 15, 2011