[ uh-set-uh-siz-uhm ]
See synonyms for asceticism on
  1. the manner of life, practices, or principles of an ascetic.

  2. the doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification, and the like.

  1. rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence; austerity.

Origin of asceticism

First recorded in 1640–50; ascetic + -ism

Other words from asceticism

  • non·as·cet·i·cism, noun

Words Nearby asceticism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use asceticism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for asceticism


/ (əˈsɛtɪˌsɪzəm) /

  1. the behaviour, discipline, or outlook of an ascetic, esp of a religious ascetic

  2. the principles of ascetic practices, esp in the early Christian Church

  1. the theory and system of ascetic practices

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

Cultural definitions for asceticism


[ (uh-set-uh-siz-uhm) ]

An austere, simple way of life in which persons renounce material pleasures and devote their energy to moral or religious purpose.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.