from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of a sect who appeared in France and Spain in the 3rd century, and believed in abstinence towards meat and sex.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Refraining from indulgence, especially from the indulgence of appetite; abstemious; continent; temperate.
  • n. One who abstains.
  • n. One of a sect who appeared in France and Spain in the 3d century.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Refraining from undue indulgence, especially in the use of food and drink; characterized by moderation; abstemious.
  • n. One who abstains or is abstinent; an abstainer.
  • n. [capitalized] One of a sect which appeared in France and Spain in the third century.

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

  • n. a person who refrains from drinking intoxicating beverages
  • adj. self-restraining; not indulging an appetite especially for food or drink


From Middle English abstinent (adjective form). (Wiktionary)



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  • I find it amusing that the term abstinent was used in telegraphic communications as shorthand for "will not be able to accommodate". --1906 US Railway Assn. Standard Cipher Code. Of course, "to accommodate" in these communications meant to find lodgings or seats on a train for the agent(s) or person(s) referred to.

    January 19, 2013