American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite or desire, especially for alcoholic drink or sexual intercourse.
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.
- n. business Delay of spending to accrue capital.
GNU Webster's 1913
- 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
- n. The practice of self-denial by depriving one's self of certain kinds of food or drink, especially of meat.
- n. the trait of abstaining (especially from alcohol)
- n. act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite
- From Middle English, from Old French astinence, from Latin abstinentia, from abstinens, present participle of abstinēō ("withhold"). (Wiktionary)
- 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)
“Hence the term abstinence may be taken in two ways.”
“In this sense morality can vary from person to person and while the same can be said for Christians, there are basic tenets that all Christians believe, and in most faiths in general with the exception of some oddballs, and that is, the ten commandments or equivalent, especially in regards to killing, raping, stealing, etc. in which hopefully abstinence is reinforced by the belief in an after life and the accountability of bad behaviour.”
“I have since decided that abstinence is the best course of action for ME.”
“Bristol Palin admits abstinence is "not realistic.”
“Except me, having spent the season in abstinence, chastity and Good Works.”
“He believes in abstinence-based sex education and the over-lapping of religion and government.”
“I have about two pregnant 16 year olds in each of my classes and feel that a lesson in abstinence is much needed.”
“While abstinence is the safest form of birth control, the educational approach you advocate in fact leads to drastically worse outcomes than does comprehensive sex education.”
“She believes in abstinence-only programs and not the teaching of sexual education.”
“The content was more along the lines of the inherent risks of STDs and the fact that abstinence is the only fool-proof method of avoiding them.”
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