Definition of abstemious
- an abstemious drinker
- an abstemious diet
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She is known as an abstemious eater and drinker.
being abstemious diners, they avoid restaurants with all-you-can-eat buffets
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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."
First Known Use: 1609See Words from the same year
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