Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Eating and drinking in moderation.
  • adjective Characterized by abstinence or moderation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Sparing in diet; moderate in the use of food and drink; temperate; abstinent.
  • Restricted; very moderate and plain; very sparing; spare: opposed to luxurious or rich: as, an abstemious diet.
  • Devoted to or spent in abstemiousness or abstinence: as, an abstemious life.
  • Promoting or favoring abstemiousness; associated with temperance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Orig. Latin sense. Abstaining from wine.
  • adjective Sparing in diet; refraining from a free use of food and strong drinks; temperate; abstinent; sparing in the indulgence of the appetite or passions.
  • adjective Sparingly used; used with temperance or moderation.
  • adjective Marked by, or spent in, abstinence.
  • adjective rare Promotive of abstemiousness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Marked by, or spent in, abstinence; as, an abstemious life.
  • adjective rare Promotive of abstemiousness.

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

  • adjective sparing in consumption of especially food and drink
  • adjective marked by temperance in indulgence

Etymologies

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

[From Latin abstēmius : abs-, ab-, away; see ab– + *tēmum, liquor, variant of tēmētum.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in 1600. From Latin abstēmius ("abstaining from wine"); from ab, abs ("from") + tēmus, root of tēmētum ("intoxicating drink, mead, wine"), akin to German dämlich ("stupid, silly"), Old Norse thām ("mugginess"), Old Irish tām ("death"), Sanskrit tāmyati ("he becomes stunned, exhausted").

Examples

  • The second one, "abstemious" I more or less gleaned, also from context, but also because it's close to "abstain", which is near to what it means.

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • The second one, "abstemious" I more or less gleaned, also from context, but also because it's close to "abstain", which is near to what it means.

    Vituperative, Abstemious, Amaneunsis

  • Dowd has repeatedly mocked Obama's "abstemious" tastes and how these set him apart from the great, fat, American mains ...

    John McQuaid: Dowd: More Big Macs for Barack

  • Dowd has repeatedly mocked Obama's "abstemious" tastes and how these set him apart from the great, fat, American mains ...

    John McQuaid: Dowd: More Big Macs for Barack

  • Dowd has repeatedly mocked Obama's "abstemious" tastes and how these set him apart from the great, fat, American mainstream:

    John McQuaid: Dowd: More Big Macs for Barack

  • No one need go far in search of proofs that this kind of abstemious living is not merely possible, but far less hurtful to health than excess.

    The Kreutzer Sonata

  • No one need go far in search of proofs that this kind of abstemious living is not merely possible, but far less hurtful to health than excess.

    The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories [a machine-readable transcription]

  • He insists it was an "abstemious" occasion, but warm beer was put in a bucket of ice and then Dr Calder knocked the bucket and one of the corks shot out and hit him in the eye, blinding it.

    Kiwiblog

  • Breakfast wasn't "eaten" it was "got across your chest", a fried culinary flak jacket of bacon, fried eggs, toast with butter, slices of black pudding, an abstemious blob of HP Sauce.

    How Britain fell in love with breakfast

  • In Ms. Cappello's book, Jackson comes across as a complete, complex individual: In addition to being an innovative physician, he was an amateur painter, a nonsmoking teetotaler,and an abstemious eater whose sandwiches included exactly one lettuce leaf.

    Medicine

Comments

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  • He was upright, singularly abstemious, studious; but he was poor, he was the son of a small farmer, and she was of the gentry.

    Lucia Gilbert Runkle, "Abigail Adams"

    November 12, 2011