Definitions

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

  • adj. Morally pure in thought or conduct; decent and modest.
  • adj. Not having experienced sexual intercourse; virginal.
  • adj. Abstaining from unlawful sexual intercourse.
  • adj. Abstaining from all sexual intercourse; celibate.
  • adj. Pure or simple in design or style; austere.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. abstaining from sexual intercourse, celibate
  • adj. virginal, innocent, having had no sexual experience
  • adj. simple, austere, undecorative
  • adj. modest, decent, morally pure

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pure from unlawful sexual intercourse; virtuous; continent.
  • adj. Pure in thought and act; innocent; free from lewdness and obscenity, or indecency in act or speech; modest.
  • adj. Pure in design and expression; correct; free from barbarisms or vulgarisms; refined; simple.
  • adj. Unmarried.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Possessing chastity or sexual purity; continent; virtuous; pure.
  • Celibate; unmarried.
  • Free from obscenity or impurity: as, chaste conversation.
  • In a figurative sense: As applied to language and literary style, free from uncouth or equivocal words and phrases, and from affected or extravagant expressions; not affected or grandiloquent.
  • In art, free from meretricious ornament or affectation; severely simple.
  • To chasten; discipline; punish; chastise. See chasten and chastise, which have taken the place of this verb.
  • To reduce to submission; tame.
  • To bring or keep under control; restrain, as the passions.

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

  • adj. abstaining from unlawful sexual intercourse
  • adj. morally pure (especially not having experienced sexual intercourse)
  • adj. pure and simple in design or style

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin castus; see kes- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French chaste ("morally pure"), from Latin castus ("pure"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I know that the current view of sex is unbridled recreation, but that fact is the very reason why the word chaste is quasi obsolete and often equated with marital infidelity.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • Pallotti offers this bit of ecclesiastical hokum as it if it made perfect, pious sense: the point of the program isn't celibacy "as much as creating what they call a chaste kind of life."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • So as not to disturb this important natural phase of growth, parents will recognize that prudent formation in chaste love during this period should be indirect, in preparation for puberty, when direct information will be necessary. [more ...]

    Kung Fu Night! Kill Zone

  • The girls try to remain chaste, but the boys have sex with them anyway: Rape.

    Matthew Yglesias » Purity Ball Fun

  • How come the only organ the left insists be chaste is the lung?

    Medpundit

  • That virgins and young men, before they feel in themselves the love of the sex, are commonly called chaste, is owing to ignorance of what chastity is.

    The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love

  • Well, it was hard lines on her, but duty called, so I just popped my head round her door to call a chaste farewell - and there she was, dammit, reclining languorously on the coverlet like one of those randy classical goddesses, wearing nothing but the big ostrich-plume fan I'd brought her from Egypt, and her sniggering maid turning the lamp down low.

    Fiancée

  • It's a symbol of 'chastity' which is intended by the Sikh Gurus [founders of Sikhism] to serve the followers the need to remain chaste.

    India Travelogue, Day 2: Delhi

  • Vitex, also known as chaste tree and agnus castus, is extremely popular in Europe, where it is used to treat PMS as well as some of the unpleasant side effects associated with menopause.

    Earl Mindell’s New Herb Bible

  • Freshly baked bread, diverse wines, local olive oil which Preston calls chaste maidenwhat more could you want?

    A Year of Wine

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.

  • "He kissed my cheek in a chaste, friend-of-the-boyfriend way." -Club Dead, by Charlaine Harris

    February 5, 2011

  • last night I dreamt that I was chaste

    November 9, 2009

  • Plath citations: see note at swan.

    March 31, 2008