Definitions

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

  • n. Abstinence from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows.
  • n. The condition of being unmarried.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Abstaining from marriage; the state of being unmarried.
  • n. Abstaining from sexual relations.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being unmarried; single life, esp. that of a bachelor, or of one bound by vows not to marry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being celibate or unmarried; a single life; voluntary abstention from marriage: as, the celibacy of the clergy.

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

  • n. an unmarried status
  • n. abstaining from sexual relations (as because of religious vows)

Etymologies

From Latin caelibatus ("celibacy, a single life"), perfect passive participle of caelibare, from caelebs ("unmarried"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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