Definitions

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

  • n. One who abstains from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows.
  • n. One who is unmarried.
  • adj. Abstaining from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows.
  • adj. Unmarried; unwed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not married.
  • adj. Abstaining from sexual relations and pleasures.
  • n. Person who is not married, especially one who has taken a religious vow not to get married, usually because of being a member of a religious community.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Unmarried; single.
  • n. Celibate state; celibacy.
  • n. One who is unmarried, esp. a bachelor, or one bound by vows not to marry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A single life; celibacy.
  • n. One who adheres to or practises celibacy; a bachelor, especially a confirmed bachelor.
  • Unmarried; single: as, a celibate life.
  • To lead a single life. Fortnightly Rev.

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

  • n. an unmarried person who has taken a religious vow of chastity
  • adj. abstaining from sexual intercourse

Etymologies

Latin caelibātus, from caelebs, caelib-, unmarried.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin caelibatus, perfect passive participle of caelibare, from caelebs ("unmarried"). (Wiktionary)

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