incontinence

noun in·con·ti·nence \ (ˌ)in-ˈkän-tə-nən(t)s \
Updated on: 12 Apr 2018

Definition of incontinence

: the quality or state of being incontinent
  • We may reasonably trust … that public sobriety will reassert itself over the political and intellectual incontinence that currently commands the headlines.
  • —Woody West
: such as
a : inability of the body to control the evacuative functions of urination or defecation : partial or complete loss of bladder or bowel control
  • fecal incontinence
  • urinary incontinence
— see also stress incontinence, urge incontinence
b : failure to restrain sexual appetite
  • It is true that the religion of the missionaries has … effected some good. It has restrained the vices of theft and incontinence.
  • —Herman Melville

Recent Examples of incontinence from the Web

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

First Known Use of incontinence

14th century


Medical Dictionary

incontinence

noun in·con·ti·nence \ (ˈ)in-ˈkänt-ᵊn-ən(t)s \

medical Definition of incontinence

1 : inability or failure to restrain sexual appetite
2 : inability of the body to control the evacuative functions
  • fecal incontinence
— see stress incontinence, urge incontinence


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