- 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 ascetical
Have we indeed outstripped the warrior and passed the ascetical saint?A Chesterton Calendar
G. K. Chesterton
The Orthodox idea of fasting is first of all that of an ascetical effort.Great Lent: A School of Repentance
That northern "custody of the senses" which is not an ascetical exercise, but an inner illumination thrown upon them.Rome
Mildred Anna Rosalie Tuker
We received the blessing of the leader of the Giri branch of the Swami Order-a thin, ascetical monk with eyes of smiling fire.Autobiography of a YOGI
- 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 ascetical
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.).