- a person who dedicates his or her life to a pursuit of contemplative ideals and practices extreme self-denial or self-mortification for religious reasons.
- a person who leads an austerely simple life, especially one who abstains from the normal pleasures of life or denies himself or herself material satisfaction.
- (in the early Christian church) a monk; hermit.
- relating to asceticism, the doctrine that one can reach a high spiritual state through the practice of extreme self-denial or self-mortification.
- rigorously abstinent; austere: an ascetic existence.
- exceedingly strict or severe in religious exercises or self-mortification.
Origin of ascetic
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ascetic
Not surprisingly, this did not sit well with the ascetic early Christians.Meet Krampus, the Seriously Bad Santa
December 5, 2014
Soyinka is a food and wine enthusiast, but he also sinks easily into a kind of ascetic mode and fasts regularly.Nigeria’s Larger-Than-Life Nobel Laureate Chronicles a Fascinating Life
August 9, 2014
An Arab legend has it that the intoxicating effects of hashish were discovered by an ascetic monk in 1155.The Chronic Chronicles: A History of Pot
July 6, 2014
Faith may bolster the ascetic, but boredom wears him down—grime and solitude breed apathy.A Book About Boredom Is Anything But
June 20, 2011
As ascetic as Aries is, you delight in luxuries now, indulging any urge to splurge.Zodiac Beast: April 24-30
Starsky + Cox
April 23, 2011
Saint and sinner, ascetic and worldling, united in its practice.The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
Such are the advantages of the ascetic life, and of such ascetics the Kingdom of Heaven.The Book of Khalid
No ascetic monk, no curled cavalier, looks down from the pedestal.
Here was the pale face of the ascetic, and there the guileless eyes of the saint.The Christian
But the ascetic on the cross is a God for the sick and aged.The Great Hunger
- a person who practises great self-denial and austerities and abstains from worldly comforts and pleasures, esp for religious reasons
- (in the early Christian Church) a monk
- rigidly abstinent or abstemious; austere
- of or relating to ascetics or asceticism
- intensely rigorous in religious austerities
Word Origin and History for ascetic
1640s, from Greek asketikos "rigorously self-disciplined, laborious," from asketes "monk, hermit," earlier "one who practices an art or trade," from askein "to exercise, train," originally "to train for athletic competition, practice gymnastics, exercise."
"one of the early Christians who retired to the desert to live solitary lives of meditation and prayer," 1670s, from ascetic (adj.).