Definition of chastity in English:



  • The state or practice of refraining from extramarital, or especially from all, sexual intercourse.

    ‘vows of chastity’
    • ‘The biblical virtues of modesty, chivalry, chastity and fidelity are ignored.’
    • ‘What he counsels as the proper Christian behavior for them is chastity.’
    • ‘You owe him civil behavior, consideration, and decorum, not a vow of chastity.’
    • ‘Male and female members of religious orders took a vow of chastity and ordained priests were obligated to celibacy.’
    • ‘In 1534 they all swore an oath of poverty, chastity and obedience to the pope.’
    • ‘For example, some groups stressed premarital chastity more than others did.’
    • ‘The authors also fail to understand that for Jesuits chastity is a way of relating to God, not just to other people.’
    • ‘Mr Cousins sees in this the disorderly, self-defeating aspects of both sexual desire and chastity.’
    • ‘During that time she has had immense difficulty with her vows of chastity and obedience.’
    • ‘For the early Christian writers the tree has even become the symbol of chastity.’
    • ‘Horrified and overcome by guilt, Kate prays constantly for forgiveness and chastity.’
    • ‘In spite of being single and professing the vow of chastity as a nun, I sometimes feel this way.’
    • ‘When Christianity took over, the veil was changed to represent chastity and modesty.’
    • ‘Imagine a particularly ascetic monastic order, whose rule not only enjoins chastity, but forbids sexual desire.’
    • ‘Girls are expected to display a number of feminine virtues, particularly modesty and chastity.’
    • ‘We have certain core issues we lobby on, including the sanctity of innocent human life, chastity, marriage and the traditional family.’
    • ‘During that period, a woman was more concerned with preserving her chastity than with saving her life.’
    • ‘It is mystical and ascetic, with the sisters observing vows of poverty, chastity and silence.’
    • ‘Religion is an intensely personal matter and is as sacrosanct as chastity.’
    • ‘Programs are screened for scenes that contradict the codes of sexual chastity and religious observance.’
    celibacy, chasteness, virginity, abstinence, self-restraint, self-denial
    singleness, maidenhood, the unmarried state
    innocence, purity, virtue, goodness, decency, morality, decorum, modesty, wholesomeness
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French chastete, from Latin castitas, from castus morally pure (see chaste).