from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A member of a Jewish family and sect descended from Rechab, which, in obedience to the command of Jonadab, refused to drink wine, build or live in houses, sow seed, or plant or own vineyards.
- noun Hence A total abstainer from strong drink.
- noun A member of a society composed of total abstainers from intoxicating drinks, called the Independent Order of Rechabites.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Jewish Hist.) One of the descendants of Jonadab, the son of Rechab, all of whom by his injunction abstained from the use of intoxicating drinks and even from planting the vine.
Jer. xxxv. 2-19. Also, in modern times, a member of a certain society of abstainers from alcoholic liquors.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
“At first I struggled with a great deal of persecution, took up with a lodging which had a window no bigger than a pocket looking-glass, dined at a three-penny ordinary enough to starve a vacation tailor, kept little company, went clad in homely drugget, and drunk wine as seldom as a rechabite, or the grand seignior's confessor.”
His rechabite tendencies might be owed to his Buddhism, as apparently the Buddha enjoined his followers to abjure intoxicants.
Her word this round: rechabite - a member of a group that abstains from alcohol.