Definition of abstemious
: marked by restraint especially in the eating of food or drinking of alcohol an abstemious drinker; also : reflecting such restraint an abstemious diet
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Examples of abstemious in a Sentence
She is known as an abstemious eater and drinker.
being abstemious diners, they avoid restaurants with all-you-can-eat buffets
Recent Examples of abstemious from the Web
Denis, who died this week at the age of sixty-seven, was resolutely sober, abstemious, but not at all grave.
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 tcmrim “(he/she) is stunned” (perhaps going back to *tēēmiro-)
First Known Use: 1609See Words from the same year
ABSTEMIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of abstemious for English Language Learners
: not eating and drinking too much
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