Definition of teetotal in English:

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Pronunciation: /tiːˈtəʊt(ə)l/


Choosing or characterized by abstinence from alcohol: a teetotal lifestyle
More example sentences
  • In the West Midlands, 78% were willing to stop drinking, reduce their alcohol intake or were teetotal already compared to 66% in the capital.
  • And I hadn't fully realised how odd I'd feel, an omnivore who likes a drink dropped into a city populated largely by teetotal vegetarians.
  • The alcohol ban is a strain on my mum, she likes a bit of a drink, but my dad's teetotal.
abstinent, abstemious;
sober, avoiding alcohol
informal on the wagon, off the booze, off the sauce, dry



Pronunciation: /tiːˈtəʊtəlɪz(ə)m/
Example sentences
  • One reason for the multiplicity of groups was a difference of opinion which soon emerged between the advocates of moderation in drinking and those who demanded total abstinence - or teetotalism.
  • With the growth of the movement came a more radical agenda of teetotalism and a concerted campaign to end the state's liquor licensing system through local option legislation and eventually state prohibition in the 1850s.
  • Personally, as I grow older, I tend more toward my mother's teetotalism and away from my father's moderate drinking.
temperance, abstinence, abstention, sobriety
rare Rechabitism, nephalism


Mid 19th century: emphatic extension of total, apparently first used by Richard Turner, a worker from Preston, in a speech (1833) urging total abstinence from all alcohol, rather than mere abstinence from spirits, advocated by some early temperance reformers.

  • The first part of teetotal has nothing to do with tea, but is actually a way of emphasizing total, by reproducing its first letter. It was apparently first used by Richard Turner, a member of the temperance movement from Preston, in a speech made in 1833. Early temperance reformers had limited themselves to suggesting abstinence from spirits, but this was an appeal to them to avoid all alcohol.

Words that rhyme with teetotal

anecdotal, sacerdotal, total

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tee|total

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