abstemious

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adjective ab·ste·mi·ous \ab-ˈstē-mē-əs\

Definition of abstemious

formal

  1. :  marked by restraint especially in the eating of food or drinking of alcohol an abstemious drinker; also :  reflecting such restraint an abstemious diet

abstemiously

adverb

abstemiousness

noun

abstemious was our Word of the Day on 01/17/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of abstemious in a sentence

  1. She is known as an abstemious eater and drinker.

  2. being abstemious diners, they avoid restaurants with all-you-can-eat buffets

Did You Know?

Abstemious and "abstain" look alike, and both have meanings involving self-restraint or self-denial. So they must both come from the same root, right? Yes and no. Both get their start from the Latin prefix abs-, meaning "from" or "away," but "abstain" traces to "abs-" plus the Latin verb tenēre (meaning "to hold"), while "abstemious" gets its "-temious" from a suffix akin to the Latin noun temetum, meaning "intoxicating drink."

Origin and Etymology of abstemious

borrowed from Latin abstēmius “refraining from wine, careful with one's means,” from abs- (variant of ab- ab- before c- and t-) + -tēmius, from a base tēm- “intoxicating” (also in tēmētum “intoxicating beverage,” tēmulentus “drunken”); if going back to an Indo-European root *temH-, akin to Sanskrit tāmyati “(he/she) is stunned, loses consciousness, is exhausted,” tamayati “(he/she) chokes (someone),” Armenian tcmrim “(he/she) is stunned” (perhaps going back to *tēēmiro-)


First Known Use: 1609


ABSTEMIOUS Defined for English Language Learners

abstemious

play
adjective ab·ste·mi·ous \ab-ˈstē-mē-əs\

Definition of abstemious for English Language Learners

  • : not eating and drinking too much



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