forbearance, especially habitual forbearance as a lifestyle choice, from any indulgence of a particular appetite, such as from sex or from the use of alcoholic beverages: The program promotes sexual abstinence for teens, but also provides information on contraception in case they become sexually active.
any self-restraint, self-denial, or forbearance.
the act of abstaining for any length of time from a substance or activity to which one has become addicted, but without actually dealing with the root causes of dependency: Abstinence addresses the symptoms of addiction, while sobriety has deeper mental and emotional dimensions.: See also sobriety (def. 3).
the act of abstaining from a particular substance or activity as a spiritual discipline, as during Lent or some other period of religious fasting or self-denial: At one time Lenten abstinence from meat was stricter than it is today.
Economics. the conserving of current income in order to build up capital or savings.
- Also ab·sti·nen·cy [ab-stuh-nuhn-see] /ˈæb stə nən si/ .
- ab·sti·nent, adjective
- pro·ab·sti·nence, adjective
- abstention, abstinence
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use abstinence in a sentence
In the 12-step world, members who have maintained continuous abstinence for many years are revered—the longer their time away from alcohol and other drugs, the higher their status tends to be.Rethinking What it Means to Recover from Addiction | Maia Szalavitz | September 29, 2021 | Time
Promoting abstinence won’t work because many young people who plan to abstain don’t actually do so.Why Access to Birth Control Is No Substitute for Abortion Rights | Krystale E. Littlejohn | September 17, 2021 | Time
In fact, the only scientifically proven method to avoid a hangover is moderate alcohol consumption or good old abstinence.
Although the book contains some decidedly pre-coronavirus guidance — think advice on parties and bars — it’s at its strongest when talking about the inside game of abstinence.For the new year, an easy-to-sip guide that helps you abstain from alcohol for a month — or longer | Erin Blakemore | January 2, 2021 | Washington Post
Public health experts often advocate a harm reduction approach for behaviors where abstinence is not feasible – it’s a way to minimize but not eliminate risk.Sick Of COVID-19? Here’s Why You Might Have Pandemic Fatigue | LGBTQ-Editor | October 24, 2020 | No Straight News
We see detoxing as a path to transcendence, a symbol of modern urban virtue and self-transformation through abstinence.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze | Lizzie Crocker | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Worse, some schools preach abstinence only or offer little to no sexual education.The Next Frontier of Sex Ed: How Porn Twists Teens’ Brains | Aurora Snow | November 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Dr. Melson says abstinence only training shows no delay in sexual activity.The Next Frontier of Sex Ed: How Porn Twists Teens’ Brains | Aurora Snow | November 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Meanwhile, the majority of states require sex educators to stress abstinence.
Also known as The abstinence-Violation Effect, some individuals can feel an overall loss of control after going off the deep-end.When Is It OK to Cheat? The Pros and Cons of Cheat Days | DailyBurn | July 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“abstinence has its drawbacks,” he said, shivering in the bitter wind which whirled the stinging smoke about them.The Gold Trail | Harold Bindloss
I—perhaps— His hand closed over her fingers with the nervous tension that these last days of abstinence had brought him.The Woman Gives | Owen Johnson
Cooked in the ashes, it makes a palatable but tough cake, which we enjoyed after our long abstinence from bread.
It is abstinence from evil quite as much as eager realization of good.Strong Souls | Charles Beard
Convalescence from a severe sickness is a just cause for sexual abstinence.The Eugenic Marriage, Vol. 3 (of 4) | W. Grant Hague
British Dictionary definitions for abstinence
the act or practice of refraining from some action or from the use of something, esp alcohol
mainly RC Church the practice of refraining from specific kinds of food or drink, esp from meat, as an act of penance
- abstinent, adjective
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