sparing or moderate in eating and drinking; temperate in diet.
characterized by abstinence: an abstemious life.
sparing: an abstemious diet.

Origin of abstemious

1615–25; < Latin abstēmius, equivalent to abs- abs- + tēm- (base of tēmētum intoxicating drink) + -ius -ious
Related formsab·ste·mi·ous·ly, adverbab·ste·mi·ous·ness, nounnon·ab·ste·mi·ous, adjectivenon·ab·ste·mi·ous·ly, adverbnon·ab·ste·mi·ous·ness, nouno·ver·ab·ste·mi·ous, adjectiveo·ver·ab·ste·mi·ous·ly, adverbo·ver·ab·ste·mi·ous·ness, nounun·ab·ste·mi·ous, adjectiveun·ab·ste·mi·ous·ly, adverbun·ab·ste·mi·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for abstemious

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for abstemiousness

abstinence, moderation, self-denial, restraint, ascetic

Examples from the Web for abstemiousness

Historical Examples of abstemiousness

  • Oh, hang your abstemiousness; it is d——d unfriendly to eat so little!

    Paul Clifford, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Of true Puritan abstemiousness, his only indulgence was chewing tobacco.

    The Crisis, Complete

    Winston Churchill

  • His abstemiousness is remarkable, and he will not feed during the night.

    The Desert World

    Arthur Mangin

  • True, I've since made call at an hotel, but you don't give me credit for my abstemiousness!

    Gwen Wynn

    Mayne Reid

  • I feel that my abstemiousness, implying as it does a jaded palate and an aristocratic indigestion, is highly fashionable.


    Lawton Mackall

British Dictionary definitions for abstemiousness



moderate or sparing, esp in the consumption of alcohol or food; temperate
Derived Formsabstemiously, adverbabstemiousness, noun

Word Origin for abstemious

C17: from Latin abstēmius, from abs- ab- 1 + tēm-, from tēmētum intoxicating drink
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for abstemiousness



c.1600, from Latin abstemius "sober, temperate," from ab(s)- "from" (see ab-) + stem of temetum "strong drink," related to temulentus "drunken." Technically, of liquor, but extended in Latin to temperance in living generally. Related: Abstemiously; abstemiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper