[ sel-uh-buh-see ]
/ ˈsɛl ə bə si /


abstention from sexual relations.
abstention by vow from marriage: the celibacy of priests.
the state of being unmarried.

Nearby words

  1. celiac ganglion,
  2. celiac gland,
  3. celiac plexus,
  4. celiac plexus reflex,
  5. celiac trunk,
  6. celibate,
  7. celibatic,
  8. celio-,
  9. celiocentesis,
  10. celioenterotomy

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for 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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper