Definition of abstinence
- … ate with a haste and an apparent relish, that seemed to betoken long abstinence from food.
- —Walter Scott
The program promoted sexual abstinence for young people.
a cleric vainly preaching abstinence in a world where self-indulgence is regarded as almost a virtue
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abstinence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
What made you want to look up abstinence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
investment of mental or emotional energy
Get Word of the Day daily email!