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[mass noun] The practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something, typically alcohol or sex.‘I started drinking again after six years of abstinence’‘abstinence from premarital intercourse’
celibacy, chastity, singleness, continence, virginity, bachelorhood, spinsterhood, self-restraint, self-denialrefraining, desisting, holding back, forbearing, keeping, withholdingteetotalism, temperance, sobriety, abstemiousness, abstentionView synonyms
- ‘He's gone six months without, the longest sustained abstinence of his life.’
- ‘How did she quit drinking five years ago, and how did she maintain abstinence for several years?’
- ‘The British anti-drink-driving campaigns try to scare you into complete abstinence.’
- ‘These effects disappeared after a period of abstinence from alcohol consumption.’
- ‘Outside unprotected sex within marriage he is an advocate of strict abstinence.’
- ‘This is presented to those who commit themselves to abstinence for life.’
- ‘If alcohol is the cause of the heart failure then abstinence is essential.’
- ‘Other than abstinence, having a vasectomy is the most reliable method of contraception.’
- ‘It is also important to note that most patients reported reduced use rather than abstinence.’
- ‘The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to practise abstinence or moderation.’
- ‘On the other side of drunkenness there is a no less committed balance of prohibition and abstinence in England.’
- ‘While abstinence may be a desirable goal for these individuals, not many accomplish it.’
- ‘The authorities there even advocated sexual abstinence, rather than condom use, as a national health strategy.’
- ‘After 12 months, the researchers intend to shift the addicts to methadone or abstinence.’
- ‘For the Hindus the fasting is abstinence from meat during their holy time.’
- ‘A growing lobby, here and in America, preaches abstinence, not education.’
- ‘I have no problem with someone who wants to promote abstinence.’
- ‘My unplanned and almost month long period of abstinence from alcohol finally came to an end last night, with four gin and tonics.’
- ‘In food matters they sought to maintain an equilibrium between abstinence and indulgence.’
- ‘Many people who go on methadone programmes, the softer alternative to abstinence, remain on them for years.’
Middle English: from Old French, from Latin abstinentia, from the verb abstinere (see abstain).
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