abstemious

adjective ab·ste·mi·ous \ ab-ˈstē-mē-əs \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of abstemious

formal
: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

Recent Examples of abstemious from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abstemious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 tʿmrim "(he/she) is stunned" (perhaps going back to *tēmiro-)


ABSTEMIOUS Defined for English Language Learners

abstemious

adjective

Definition of abstemious for English Language Learners

  • : not eating and drinking too much



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