chas·​ti·​ty | \ˈchas-tə-tē \

Definition of chastity 

1 : the quality or state of being chaste: such as

a : abstention from unlawful sexual intercourse

b : abstention from all sexual intercourse The priest took a vow of chastity.

c : purity in conduct and intention sought to protect her threatened chastity

d : restraint and simplicity in design or expression … describes the familiar campaigns with an admirable chastity of diction.— Richard Brookhiser

2 : personal integrity

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Examples of chastity in a Sentence

a saint who is often held up as a model of chastity vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience

Recent Examples on the Web

Martin recalled that during the previous World Meeting of Families, held in Philadelphia in 2015, the only official event about gay Catholics featured a gay man and his mother speaking about chastity. Washington Post, "Vatican-backed family rally to have speech on welcoming gays," 11 June 2018 Martin recalled that during the previous World Meeting of Families, held in Philadelphia in 2015, the only official event about gay Catholics featured a gay man and his mother speaking about chastity. NBC News, "Vatican-backed family rally expected to have speech on lesbian and gay faithful," 12 June 2018 This was hardly the first occasion when a party had locked its politicians in purdah to preserve their chastity from a predatory rival. The Economist, "People in India often despair of their democracy," 31 May 2018 Reilly endured his year of chastity and applied again. John L’heureux, The New Yorker, "The Long Black Line," 14 May 2018 Consider Claudio’s infuriated reaction to Hero’s seeming lack of chastity — a fury shared by Hero’s dear old dad, Leonato, who immediately wishes his daughter dead and tries to attack her physically after being told of the phony tryst. Don Aucoin,, "A ‘Much Ado’ that brings Beyoncé to its battle of wits," 17 Apr. 2018 When Pat Brown began his governorship, Jerry was twenty and a Jesuit novice, honoring vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Inside California’s War on Trump," 19 Mar. 2018 This year, social-media sites lit up in protest after an expert on traditional culture, Ding Xuan, urged chastity for female students in a university lecture. Andrew Browne, WSJ, "All the Presidents Are Men: China Is Getting Worse on Women in Power," 19 Sep. 2017 When Claudio's sister, nun-in-training Isabella (Kalean Ung), intercedes on his behalf, Angelo offers to spare Claudio's life for a price: her chastity. Margaret Gray,, "'Measure for Measure': Pop the cork and settle in for the latest free Shakespeare in Griffith Park," 14 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chastity.' 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 chastity

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chastity

see chaste

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Statistics for chastity

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chastity

The first known use of chastity was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for chastity



English Language Learners Definition of chastity

: the state of not having sex with anyone : the quality or state of being chaste


chas·​ti·​ty | \ˈcha-stə-tē \

Kids Definition of chastity

: the quality or state of being pure in thought and act

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Comments on chastity

What made you want to look up chastity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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