chas·​ti·​ty | \ ˈcha-stə-tē How to pronounce chastity (audio) \

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Recent Examples on the Web An Important Historical Document’ on Dating The 1940s was not exactly a time of extreme chastity. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "‘Baby, It's Cold Outside' Was Controversial From the Beginning. Here’s What to Know About Consent in the 1940s," 5 Dec. 2019 The nonprofit arm works for Upper Midwest Catholic schools to support educational technology and chastity and abstinence education. J.d. Duggan, Twin Cities, "From pioneer roots to modern day, Catholic United sees steady growth," 1 Dec. 2019 This represents the attitude of many centuries in which rape was considered a property crime against a husband or father, robbing them of a woman’s virginity or chastity, which were the father’s to give away to a spouse. The Economist, "Johnson How to talk about unspeakable things," 14 Nov. 2019 These accessories, also a sign of chastity, adorn Elizabeth’s dress and dangle from her neck. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Three Portraits of Victorious Queen Elizabeth I to Be Displayed Together for the First Time," 15 Nov. 2019 Missionaries with the Culture Project travel across the country, speaking to Catholic school, youth and young adult groups about the ideals of chastity, modesty and pure love. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "All good things, like this, must come to an end: Whit & Whimsey," 18 Oct. 2019 The ropes have three knots that symbolize the priests’ vows of poverty, obedience and chastity. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, "Catholic priest found guilty of sexually abusing girls at his D.C. parish," 15 Aug. 2019 Jesuits also take the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, plus a fourth vow that says Jesuits must accept whatever mission the Pope requires. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Brebeuf Jesuit Indianapolis controversy: What are Jesuits?," 20 June 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for chastity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for chastity

Last Updated

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chastity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for chastity


How to pronounce chastity (audio)

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 How to pronounce chastity (audio) \

Kids Definition of chastity

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

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