asceticism

noun as·cet·i·cism \ ə-ˈse-tə-ˌsi-zəm \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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



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