from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Self-denial.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of abnegating; a renunciation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun a denial; a renunciation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun renunciation of your own interests in favor of the interests of others
  • noun the denial and rejection of a doctrine or belief


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • And this isn't always the easiest thing because a great deal of self-discipline and even self-abnegation is called for.

    New Directions in Foreign Policy

  • Even if this is done, it is clear that to introduce the child of another woman into the home is demanding a much greater self-abnegation from the wife than is demanded from the husband in the situation we have just considered.

    Married Love: or, Love in Marriage

  • If, however, we include in the term morality the transitory display of certain qualities such as abnegation, self-sacrifice, disinterestedness, devotion, and the need of equity, we may say, on the contrary, that crowds may exhibit at times a very lofty morality.

    The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

  • She has therefore an opportunity for exercising in behalf of her dog that beautiful self-abnegation which is said to be a part of woman's nature, impelling her always to prefer that her laurels should be worn by somebody else.

    Women and the Alphabet A Series of Essays

  • In these enthusiasts we shall find striking examples of one of the morbid forces of human nature; yet in candor let us do honor to what was genuine in them, -- that principle of self-abnegation which is the life of true religion, and which is vital no less to the highest forms of heroism.

    The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century

  • This may be called the abnegation theory, and its origin may be fairly explained by considering it as derived from the original gift theory. "

    Archeological Expedition to Arizona in 1895 Seventeenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1895-1896, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1898, pages 519-744

  • Denial (also called abnegation) is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. "

    Observing German(s)...

  • I believe that equality of rights would abate the exaggerated self-abnegation which is the present artificial ideal of feminine character, and that a good woman would not be more self-sacrificing than the best man: but on the other hand, men would be much more unselfish and self-sacrificing than at present, because they would no longer be taught to worship their own will as such a grand thing that it is actually the law for another rational being.

    The Subjection of Women

  • -- Tell me, Heaven! where now is justice when the holiest gift, when genius and its immortality, come not as a reward for fervent love, for abnegation, prayer and dogged labor -- but light its radiance in the head of folly, of idle wantonness?


  • It was the sublime abnegation of true love that comes to all lovers, and it came to him there, at the telephone, in a whirlwind of fire and glory; and to die for her, he felt, was to have lived and loved well.

    Chapter 12


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