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See more synonyms for celibacy on Thesaurus.com
  1. abstention from sexual relations.
  2. abstention by vow from marriage: the celibacy of priests.
  3. the state of being unmarried.
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Origin of celibacy

1655–65; < Latin caelibā(tus) celibacy (caelib-, stem of caelebs single + -ātus -ate3) + -cy
Related formscel·i·bat·ic [sel-uh-bat-ik] /ˌsɛl əˈbæt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for celibacy

chastity, virginity, abstention, continence, singleness, purity, virtue, frigidity, impotence, maidenhood

Examples from the Web for celibacy

Contemporary Examples of celibacy

Historical Examples of celibacy

Word Origin and History for celibacy


1660s, formed in English, with -cy + Latin caelibatus "state of being unmarried," from caelebs "unmarried," probably from PIE root *kaiwelo- "alone" + lib(h)s- "living."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper