celibacy

noun
cel·​i·​ba·​cy | \ ˈse-lə-bə-sē How to pronounce celibacy (audio) \

Definition of celibacy

1 : the state of not being married
2a : abstention from sexual intercourse
b : abstention by vow from marriage priestly celibacy

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Examples of celibacy in a Sentence

a widower who has maintained absolute celibacy since the death of his wife
Recent Examples on the Web Better known for spare, utilitarian furniture and lifelong vows of celibacy, the Shakers were also fresh thinkers about food and farming who ate better than most 19th-century Americans at a time when food insecurity was often a daily reality. Adrianna Glaviano, WSJ, 25 May 2021 For everyone who took up knitting during the pandemic, only to be mocked by their close ones — think: wisecracks about Meredith Grey celibacy knitting and becoming a grandma at 25 — joke’s on them. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, 12 May 2021 Most people would say it’s a pretty odd coincidence that my celibacy lasted from the widespread arrival of the virus to the arrival of widespread antiretroviral medication. David Marchese, New York Times, 2 May 2021 The German church has been at the forefront of pushing the debate on celibacy, contraception and the church’s outreach to gay Catholics, pressured by a powerful lay Catholic group demanding change. Nicole Winfield, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Mar. 2021 Finalists Hannah Ann Sluss, Madison Prewett, and Victoria Fuller shared a hotel room in Australia for Fantasy Suites after Victoria's now-infamous celibacy ultimatum. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, 22 Dec. 2020 The 2012 find was an instant sensation, dividing scholars, the press and the public into camps of non-believers who dismissed it as a forgery and defenders who interpreted it as a refutation of longstanding ideals of Christian celibacy. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2020 The German initiative aims to rethink church teaching and practice in areas including homosexuality, priestly celibacy and the ordination of women. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, 21 Dec. 2020 The 2012 find was an instant sensation, dividing scholars, the press and the public into camps of non-believers who dismissed it as a forgery and defenders who interpreted it as a refutation of longstanding ideals of Christian celibacy. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'celibacy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of celibacy

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for celibacy

celibate "state of not being married" (borrowed from Latin caelibātus, from caelebs "not having a spouse, unmarried" + -ātus -ate entry 2) + -acy — more at celibate entry 1

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Learn More About celibacy

Time Traveler for celibacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of celibacy was in 1646

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Statistics for celibacy

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Celibacy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/celibacy. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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