[ uh-set-ik ]
/ əˈsɛt ɪk /
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See synonyms for: ascetic / ascetics on Thesaurus.com


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.

adjective Also as·cet·i·cal.

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.



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Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of ascetic

First recorded in 1640–50; from Greek askētikós “subject to rigorous exercise, hardworking,” equivalent to askē- (see ascesis) + -tikos adjective suffix; see -tic
acetic, aesthetic, ascetic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for ascetic

/ (əˈsɛtɪk) /


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

adjective Also: as'cetical

rigidly abstinent or abstemious; austere
of or relating to ascetics or asceticism
intensely rigorous in religious austerities
ascetically, adverb
C17: from Greek askētikos, from askētēs, from askein to exercise
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
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