Definition of abstinence in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈabstənəns/


The fact or practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something, typically alcohol: I started drinking again after six years of abstinence
More example sentences
  • My unplanned and almost month long period of abstinence from alcohol finally came to an end last night, with four gin and tonics.
  • These effects disappeared after a period of abstinence from alcohol consumption.
  • The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to practise abstinence or moderation.
teetotalism, temperance, sobriety, abstemiousness, abstention
rare nephalism
celibacy, chastity, virginity, self-restraint, self-denial
refraining from, desisting from, holding back from, withholding;
renunciation of, refusal of, declining, avoidance of, eschewal of, abjuration of;
forgoing, shunning, going without, doing without


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin abstinentia, from the verb abstinere (see abstain).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ab·sti·nence

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