[ chas-ti-tee ]
/ ˈtʃæs tɪ ti /
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the state or quality of being chaste.
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Origin of chastity

1175–1225; Middle English chastite, variant of chastete<Old French <Latin castitāt- (stem of castitās), equivalent to cast(us) chaste + -itāt--ity


non·chas·ti·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does chastity mean?

Chastity most commonly refers to the quality or virtue of refraining from sexual activity that’s considered immoral, especially according to the teachings of a certain religion.

It sometimes means about the same thing as celibacy—refraining from all sexual activity. When members of certain religions take a vow of chastity, this is usually what it means.

Chastity is the quality of being chaste. The word chaste can be used to describe someone who refrains sexual activity considered immoral or any sexual activity. 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 chastity.

Where does chastity come from?

The first records of the word chastity come from around 1200. It ultimately comes from the Latin castus, meaning “pure.” The word caste comes from the same root. The suffix -ity is used to form abstract nouns.

What’s considered morally pure 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 chastity often refers to the avoidance of 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.

Chastity appears in the phrase chastity belt, a type of device that typically covers the genitals and is designed to prevent sexual contact with the person wearing it.

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What are some other forms related to chastity?

  • nonchastity (noun)
  • chaste (adjective)

What are some synonyms for chastity?

What are some words that share a root or word element with chastity


What are some words that often get used in discussing chastity?

How is chastity used in real life?

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



How to use chastity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chastity

/ (ˈtʃæstɪtɪ) /

the state of being chaste; purity
abstention from sexual intercourse; virginity or celibacya vow of chastity

Word Origin for chastity

C13: from Old French chasteté, from Latin castitās, from castus chaste
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