Definition of asceticism in English:



  • [mass noun] Severe self-discipline and avoiding of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons:

    ‘acts of physical asceticism’
    • ‘The icon, in particular, is a practical form of art, dealing directly with questions of spiritual life such as holiness and asceticism.’
    • ‘This Pharisee was boasting, in other words, of an asceticism beyond the norm.’
    • ‘He had now experienced both the extremes of a life of ease and comfort (as a prince) and the life of extreme austerity and asceticism.’
    • ‘With regard to marriage Luther pursues the same idea: The marital relationship between a man and a woman is true chastity and of higher value than monastic asceticism.’
    • ‘In his time the religious energy and zeal were flowing away from the empirical world into the desert of otherworldliness, asceticism and renunciation.’
    austerity, self-denial, abstinence, abstemiousness, non-indulgence, self-discipline, frugality, simplicity, rigour, strictness, severity
    a hair shirt, a spartan life, monasticism, monkishness, reclusiveness, solitude, hermitism, celibacy, continence, chastity, puritanism, self-abnegation, other-worldliness, self-mortification
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