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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or practicing complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages.
  • adj. Total; absolute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Abstinent from alcohol, never drinking alcohol.
  • adj. Opposed to the drinking of alcohol.
  • adj. Total.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Entire; total.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Total; complete; entire: used emphatically.
  • Of, pertaining to, or for the promotion of total abstinence from intoxicating liquors: as, a teetotal society, meeting, or pledge; the teetotal cause.
  • Pledged to total abstinence from intoxicating liquors.

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

  • adj. practicing complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages
  • v. practice teetotalism and abstain from the consumption of alcoholic beverages


Probably partly tee1 (pronunciation of the first letter in total) + total (abstinence), and partly reduplication of total.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1830s, from total, the reduplicated tee being an intensifier – “T-total”. (Wiktionary)



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  • I have never heard this word in a conversation, except from non-native speakers.

    December 8, 2010