Definitions

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

  • adjective Not restrained; uncontrolled.
  • adjective Lacking normal voluntary control of excretory functions.
  • adjective Lacking sexual restraint; unchaste.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Incontinently; instantly; immediately.
  • Not continent; not holding or held in; unceasing or unrestrained: as, an incontinent tattler; an incontinent flow of talk. Specifically
  • Unrestrained in indulgence of appetite or passion; intemperate in sexual intercourse; unchaste; licentious.
  • In medicine, unable to restrain natural discharges or evacuations.
  • Not delayed; immediate; offhand.
  • noun One who is incontinent or unchaste.

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

  • adjective Not continent; uncontrolled; not restraining the passions or appetites, particularly the sexual appetite; indulging unlawful lust; unchaste; lewd.
  • adjective (Med.) Unable to restrain natural evacuations, such as urination or defecation.
  • noun One who is unchaste.
  • adverb obsolete Incontinently; instantly; immediately.

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

  • adjective Unable to contain or retain.
  • adjective Lacking the ability to restrain natural discharges or evacuations of urination or defecation.
  • adjective Lacking moral or sexual restraint, moderation or self-control, especially of sexual desire.
  • adjective Unrestrained or unceasing.

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

  • adjective not having control over urination and defecation

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin incontinēns, incontinent-, unrestrained : in-, not; see in– + continēns, continent; see continent.]

Examples

  • That is why the word incontinent doesn't mean flying between European countries.

    TSA implementing new rules of flying

  • It would seem you are decidedly of opinion that the incontinent are the reverse of free?

    Memorabilia

  • But such, though as much led away as the others, we do not in like manner call incontinent and intemperate, since they are ruined through ignorance and want of experience.

    Essays and Miscellanies

  • But such, though as much led away as the others, we do not in like manner call incontinent and intemperate, since they are ruined through ignorance and want of experience.

    Symposiacs

  • This being so, (a) those who go to excess with reference to the latter, contrary to the right rule which is in themselves, are not called incontinent simply, but incontinent with the qualification ‘in respect of money, gain, honour, or anger’, - not simply incontinent, on the ground that they are different from incontinent people and are called incontinent by reason of a resemblance.

    The Nicomachean Ethics

  • For it is not the man who gives way to any sort of pleasure whatever who is called incontinent, but only he who gives way to a certain kind of pleasure.

    Topics

  • To have these various types of habit is beyond the limits of vice, as brutishness is too; for a man who has them to master or be mastered by them is not simple (continence or) incontinence but that which is so by analogy, as the man who is in this condition in respect of fits of anger is to be called incontinent in respect of that feeling but not incontinent simply.

    The Nicomachean Ethics

  • Now those in whom nature is the cause of such a state no one would call incontinent, any more than one would apply the epithet to women because of the passive part they play in copulation; nor would one apply it to those who are in a morbid condition as a result of habit.

    The Nicomachean Ethics

  • For so he that makes the baser element subject to the better has self-control and is a superior man, whereas he who allows the nobler element of the soul to follow and be subservient to the incorrigible and unreasoning element, is inferior to what he might be, and is called incontinent, and is in an unnatural condition.

    Plutarch's Morals

  • It would seem you are decidedly of opinion that the incontinent are the reverse of free?

    The Memorabilia

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