asceticism

noun
as·​cet·​i·​cism | \ ə-ˈse-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce asceticism (audio) \

Definition of asceticism

1 : the practice of strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline : the condition, practice, or mode of life of an ascetic : rigorous abstention from self-indulgence Sacrifice, renunciation, asceticism, fasting, returning again to God … : these are inclinations fueled as much by instinct as by religious idealism.— Joyce Carol Oates Crossing the Atlantic in a small sailboat is an exercise in asceticism, a test of what the human psyche can do without.— Sarah Ballard
2 : austerity in appearance, manner, or attitude His neatly trimmed white beard and runner's physique suggest the asceticism of a mathematics professor, while his questioning mind signals a mistrust of surface impressions.— Bruce Schoenfeld In contrast to the chaste asceticism of earlier modernist office towers, the AT&T Building incorporated traditional symbols of imperial power (Roman vaults and arches), prestige (a Chippendale-inspired silhouette), and old money (a huge golden statue in the lobby, which once stood on top of the old AT&T Building).— Witold Rybczynski

First Known Use of asceticism

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of asceticism was in 1646

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Cite this Entry

“Asceticism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/asceticism. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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