[ sel-uh-bit, -beyt ]
/ ˈsɛl ə bɪt, -ˌbeɪt /


a person who abstains from sexual relations.
a person who remains unmarried, especially for religious reasons.


observing or pertaining to sexual abstention or a religious vow not to marry.
not married.

Origin of celibate

1605–15; < Latin caelib- (stem of caelebs) unmarried + -ate1

Related forms

non·cel·i·bate, adjectiveun·cel·i·bate, adjective

Can be confused

celebrate celibate cerebratecelibate chased chaste chest
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for celibate

British Dictionary definitions for celibate


/ (ˈsɛlɪbɪt) /


a person who is unmarried, esp one who has taken a religious vow of chastity


unmarried, esp by vow
abstaining from sexual intercourse

Derived Forms

celibacy, noun

Word Origin for celibate

C17: from Latin caelibātus, from caelebs unmarried, of obscure origin
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