Definitions

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

  • n. The principles and practices of an ascetic; extreme self-denial and austerity.
  • n. The doctrine that the ascetic life releases the soul from bondage to the body and permits union with the divine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The principles and practices of an ascetic; extreme self-denial and austerity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The condition, practice, or mode of life, of ascetics.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The life or practice of an ascetic; the principles and historic course of the ascetics.
  • n. In theology, the theory or systematic exposition of the means, whether negative, as self-denial and abstinence, or positive, as the exercise of natural and Christian virtues, by which a complete conformity with the divine will may be attained. See ascetical theology, under ascetical.

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

  • n. the trait of great self-denial (especially refraining from worldly pleasures)
  • n. the doctrine that through renunciation of worldly pleasures it is possible to achieve a high spiritual or intellectual state
  • n. rigorous self-denial and active self-restraint

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • The word asceticism comes from the Greek askesis which means practice, bodily exercise, and more especially, atheletic training.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • But it stifles desire only for a greater ultimate good; it rejects that needless repression of a part of the self which we call asceticism, and an undue subordination of self to others.

    Problems of Conduct

  • Mrs Browning complained to her husband of what she terms the asceticism of Easter Day, the second part of his volume of 1850; his reply was that it stated “one side of the question.”

    Robert Browning

  • The word "asceticism" goes back to the Greek for "athletic training," and the longing to be free from the prison of selfishness, has sent many people either literally or figuratively into the "desert" looking for that back against the wall urgency that is so critical to creativity.

    Forbes.com: News

  • The day for asceticism is gone, or shall we say the night?

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • Though she had no clear idea what was meant by the word asceticism, she too was of opinion that it would be no harm for dear Yasha to take a little recreation, to see people, and to show himself.

    Dream tales and prose poems

  • The records of those rough, warm, full-blooded times come with a heady flavour and an old-world tang to the thin asceticism of to-day.

    Canadian Cities of Romance

  • Yet it seems strange to hear Savanarola praised in a poem in which asceticism is condemned.

    Nobel Prize in Literature 1906 - Presentation Speech

  • I know that to use the word asceticism of one's daily practice is to incur the judgment of all those whom the world calls good fellows, whose motto is live and let live, or any other aphorism of convenient and universal remission.

    Apologia Diffidentis

  • Though she had no clear idea what was meant by the word asceticism, she too was of opinion that it would be no harm for dear

    Dream Tales and Prose Poems

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.