chaste

[ cheyst ]
/ tʃeɪst /

adjective, chast·er, chast·est.

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Origin of chaste

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English, from Old French, from Latin castus “clean, pure, chaste”

OTHER WORDS FROM chaste

chastely, adverbchasteness, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH chaste

1. celibate, chaste 2. chased, chaste
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

ABOUT THIS WORD

What does chaste mean?

Chaste is most commonly used to describe someone who refrains from sexual activity that’s considered immoral, especially according to the teachings of a certain religion.

The state or quality of being chaste is chastity.

The word chaste can also be used to describe someone who refrains from all sexual activity—someone who is celibate. When members of certain religions take a vow of chastity, this is usually what it means.

Chaste can also be used in a more general way to mean morally pure.

Example: When I went to Catholic high school, my religion teachers always emphasized the virtue of being chaste.

Where does chaste come from?

The first records of the word chaste come from around 1200. It comes from the Latin castus, meaning “pure.” The word caste comes from the same root.

Whether someone is considered morally pure or chaste heavily depends on cultural and religious norms, and the idea of chastity may differ from one religion to another or one person to another. In Christianity, the word chaste is typically used to describe those who avoid sexual activity outside of marriage or sexual activity without the goal of reproduction. Describing someone as unchaste is a moral judgment, and the person may take offense to this, especially if they don’t believe in the same set of morals. In many religions, the promotion of chastity has traditionally been directed more toward women, leading some people to criticize such lessons as sexist or oppressive.

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How is chaste used in real life?

The word chaste is usually used in the context of religion, or in the criticism of religious teaching about such things.

 

 

Example sentences from the Web for chaste

British Dictionary definitions for chaste

chaste
/ (tʃeɪst) /

adjective

not having experienced sexual intercourse; virginal
abstaining from sexual intercourse, esp that which is unlawful or immoral
(of conduct, speech, etc) pure; decent; modest
(of style or taste) free from embellishment; simple; restrained

Derived forms of chaste

chastely, adverbchasteness, noun

Word Origin for chaste

C13: from Old French, from Latin castus pure; compare caste
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