V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: the act or process of voluntarily refraining from any action, behavior, or practice--self-control

Synonyms: temperance, continence, renunciation, chastity, sobriety, self-restraint, abstemiousness

Antonyms: indulgence, excess, promiscuity

Tips: Abstinence is derived from the Latin abstinere, meaning "to hold oneself away." Abstinence is related to the word abstain. When someone is abstinent, that person is practicing self-restraint from something. Abstinence has been used so often to describe abstaining from sex that this is what the word has commonly come to mean.

Usage Examples:

While trying to lose weight, I practiced abstinence from red meat and junk food, and instead ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. (self-restraint)

For a month before her surgery, Anne was completely abstinent from caffeine and other stimulants. (self-restraining)

Athletes know they can gain a competitive advantage through abstinence from alcohol and tobacco. (temperance, restraint)

Her parents told her that because of her family's history of alcoholism, it might be best for her to remain abstinent. (sober, self-restrained)

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