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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun abstinence:


Abstinence (the giving up of certain pleasures) is considered to be an advanced word, according to the Barron's essential words for the GRE, which includes 800 college- and graduate-level words that frequently appear on the Graduate Record Exam.

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Definition of the noun abstinence

What does abstinence mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: abstinences

  1. the trait of abstaining (especially from alcohol)
  2. act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite

Alternative definition of the noun abstinence


  1. The act or practice of abstaining, refraining from indulging a desire.
  2. Specifically, the practice of abstaining from intoxicating/alcoholic beverages (also called total abstinence, teetotalism).
  3. Specifically, the practice of abstaining from sexual intercourse, either permanently or until marriage.
  4. The practice of self-denial by depriving one's self (partly or totally) of certain kinds of food or drink, especially meat.


Abstinence is an experimental industrial music project founded in 1985 in Belmar, New Jersey, USA, now based in Brooklyn. Its sound ranges from bombastic to noise, ambient soundtrack to industrial music and uses video/audio dialog and sound samples.


  1. "Abstinence" is a musical album of Popsicle.
    • released in (22 years ago)
  2. "Abstinence" is a cataloged instance, composition.


  1. Abstinence or the rule of abstinence is the principle of analytic reticence and/or frustration within a clinical situation. It is a central feature of psychoanalytic theory - relating especially to the handling of the transference in analysis.
  2. The Abstinence tactic of draft evasion was a type of hunger strike, employed by young men in the Russian Empire's Jewish Pale of Settlement, in order to be found unfit for military service by the Imperial authorities.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Abstinence

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewDay's Collacon: an Encyclopaedia of Prose Quotations (1884)

Consisting of Beautiful Thoughts, Choice Extracts and Sayings, of the Most Eminent Writers of All Nations, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time, Together with a Comprehensive Biographical Index of Authors, and an Alphabetical List of Subjects Quoted

Abstinence is a virtue. St. Augustine. Abstain in order...

Google previewRailway Signal (1889)

Or, Lights Along the Line

Abstinence is a Walk by Golden Bulk. Abstinence is a straight, as well as a safe, walk, because according to rule. If you wish to prove a stick to be crooked, lay by its side a straight one. To show that abstinenoe is a trae, and, therefore, ...

Google previewInternational Handbook of Behavior Modification and Therapy (2012)

by Alan S. Bellack, Michel Hersen, Alan E. Kazdin

Abstinence is a nominal scale datum that requires less powerful, nonparametric statistical analyses and is less likely...

Google previewEconomic Principles (1927)

by Frank Albert Fetter

Abstinence is the name of that faculty of mind which enables present desires to be subordinated to future desires.

Google previewProgress in Behavior Modification (2016)

by Michel Hersen, Richard M. Eisler, Peter M. Miller

Abstinence is a nominal scale datum that requires less powerful, nonparametric statistical analyses and is less likely to yield statistical significance than are rate data, which can be analyzed with more powerful parametric ...

Google previewA Student Guide to Health (2012)

Understanding the Facts, Trends, and Challenges by Yvette Malamud Ozer

Consistent abstinence means that a person refrains from sexual activity all the time (Hirsch 2009a).

Google previewThe Ovulation Method (1992)

Natural Family Planning by John Billings

Periodic abstinence is a necessary part of every marriage sooner or later The Ovulation Method does not require regularity of cycles Ovulation. At some time in the vocation of marriage and family life, husbands and wives will have to consider ...

Google previewPsychiatry, 2 Volume Set (2015)

by Allan Tasman, Jerald Kay, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Michael B. First, Michelle Riba

Abstinence refers to the position assumed by the analyst and psychoanalytic psychotherapist of recognizing and accepting the patient's wishes...

Google previewThe national cyclopædia of useful knowledge (1879)

In all acute diseases, such as the various forms of fever and inflammation, abstinence is a most powerful remedy, not only...

Google previewEncyclopedia Paranoiaca (2013)

by Henry Beard, Christopher Cerf

abstinence. Abstinence is the one method of birth control or protection against sexually transmitted infections that is considered morally acceptable by a ...

Google previewThe Western Temperance Herald (1855)

Perhaps a tetotaler might say, " Abstinence is a stronger defence.

Google previewTreatment for Stimulant Use Disorders (2000)

by Richard A. Rawson

Abstinence is an opportunity to recover but is not a guarantee of recovery. Many clients who experience relapse make tremendous strides in personal growth and maturity, although some clients with uninterrupted abstinence never experience ...

Google previewFriends' Intelligencer (1906)

Abstinence is the attitude of safety, physically and morally...

There is a fallacy afloat in society which considers that abstinence is a sign of weakness. But the reverse of this is true. It requires more strength ...

Google previewGod Is Love (2012)

A Biblical and Systematic Theology by Gerald Bray

Abstinence is the first and most universal approach to sexual relations, ...

Google previewFrom Phenomenology to Thought, Errancy, and Desire (2013)

Essays in Honor of William J. Richardson, S.J. by Babette Babich

The ultimate constraint toward analytic abstinence is the knowledge that to understand anything is to understand how it is in relation to everything else. To understand anything requires understanding everything. For that reason no ...

Google previewBehavioral Approaches to Crime and Delinquency (2012)

A Handbook of Application, Research, and Concepts by Edward K. Morris, Curtis J. Braukmann

Longitudinal studies of drug abusers suggest, however, that relapse rather than abstinence is the more common sequela to incarceration. In a well-known and carefully conducted longitudinal study, Vaillant (1966) followed 100 New York ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work (2006)

by Melissa Hope Ditmore

An abstinence approach to consenting sexual relationships for pay has been heavily influenced by a moral/criminal sanction value system, often with draconian consequences. Women apprehended for provision of sexual services for pay ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Sexual Behavior and the Law (2006)

by Robert L. Maddex

Abstinence (the practice of refraining from sexual activity with a partner) is an e∑ective way to avoid pregnancy and reduce sexually transmitted diseases. But because studies of sexual behavior have shown that a commitment ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Educational Psychology (2008)

by Neil J. Salkind

Abstinence education advocates abstinence as the 100% sure way to prevent pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The U.S. teen pregnancy rates have been decreasing since the 1990s, but of all of the ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of the Social and Cultural Foundations of Education: A-H ; 2, I-Z ; 3, Biographies, visual history, index (2009)

Abstinence-only sexual education (also “abstinence education” and “abstinence- until-marriage education”) refers to a group of sexual education curricula intended to teach children that they should abstain from sexual intimacy with another ...

Google previewThe Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies, 4 Volume Set (2016)

by Constance L. Shehan

FALCON CAMPOS Kansas State University, USA BACKGROUND Abstinence often refers to a practice of avoiding or not partaking in things that might be considered to be harmful to oneself in the long ...

Google previewCatholic Dictionary, Revised (2002)

by Peter Stravinskas

Abstinence (ABstihnehns): 1. Penitential: Depriving oneself of meat or of foods prepared with meat on days prescribed by the Church as “penitential”: Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays of the year that are not solemnities (in the ...

Google previewHistorical Dictionary of Catholicism (2012)

by William J. Collinge

Before 1917, the general law of the Western church required fasting (including abstinence) on all weekdays of Lent, on the Ember Days, and on the vigils of Christmas, Pentecost, Assumption, and All Saints. Abstinence was required on all ...

Google previewNew Dictionary of Christian Ethics & Pastoral Theology (2013)

by David J. Atkinson, David F. Field, Arthur F. Holmes, Oliver O'Donovan

ABSTINENCE An awareness of the moral dimension in pastoral care is expressed through a sensitive use of absolution. In corporate worship, for example, people can be helped to face failure, resolve occasions causing feelings of guilt, and ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery (2008)

by Gary L. Fisher, Nancy A. Roget

The abstinence violation effect (AVE) includes the cognitive and emotional responses a substance abuser may experience after breaking a rule for abstinence. In 1985, Alan Marlatt and Judith Gordon proposed the AVE as an important ...

Google previewSexually Transmitted Disease: An Encyclopedia of Diseases, Prevention, Treatment, and Issues [2 volumes] (2013)

An Encyclopedia of Diseases, Prevention, Treatment, and Issues by Jill Ann Grimes MD, Lori Apffel Smith MD, Kristyn Fagerberg MD

abstinence-only programs, and (3) abstinence plus comprehensive sex education. Comprehensive sex education includes ...

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Small photo of NAMDINH ,VIETNAM - JUNE 4 , 2016 : National monument of abstinence Hung Dao Dai Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan is located at Square Mosquito 3 February, lakeside Vy Xuyen, Nam Dinh city.Small photo of NAMDINH ,VIETNAM - JUNE 4 , 2016 : National monument of abstinence Hung Dao Dai Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan is located at Square Mosquito 3 February, lakeside Vy Xuyen, Nam Dinh city.Small photo of NAMDINH ,VIETNAM - JUNE 4 , 2016 : National monument of abstinence Hung Dao Dai Vuong Tran Quoc Tuan is located at Square Mosquito 3 February, lakeside Vy Xuyen, Nam Dinh city.Small photo of Glass, bottle with alcohol and paper with text STOP. Appeal to overcome addictive alcohol abuse and dependence through detoxifiction, treatment, rehabilitation and abstinenceSmall photo of Man in white and beer. Abstinence concept.Small photo of abstinence colorful word on the wooden backgroundSmall photo of Hooded person fighting addiction crisis, drug or alcohol addict in abstinence period More...

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Quotes about Abstinence

Courtly love-poetry may first have been written during long periods of abstinence on the Crusades, but it would not have flourished in the cold of northern Europe without some help from the chimney. (James Burke)
more quotes about abstinence...

Scrabble value of A1B3S1T1I1N1E1N1C3E1

The value of this 10-letter word is 14 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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