Definitions

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

  • noun Abstinence from sexual relations.
  • noun The condition of remaining unmarried, especially for religious reasons.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

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