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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

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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 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 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 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...


All will admit that the drinking «\siem" is* the curse of our land— and that o<al abstinence is the promoter of all that is...

Google previewSober Identity (2011)

Tools for Reprogramming the Addictive Mind by Lisa Neumann

Abstinence is the required condition. Without it, little else can develop.

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 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 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 previewThe national encyclopædia. Libr. ed (1879)

by National cyclopaedia

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

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 previewAn Invitation to Health (2009)

by Dianne R. Hales, Lara Lauzon

Abstinence. Abstinence means different things to different people. For some people, it means no genital or sexual contact. For others, abstinence may mean some sexual stimulation, but no intercourse.54 Limited data are available on college ...

Google previewThe Western Temperance Herald (1855)

Chambers, alter remarking that " cheap wine is the strong hold of temperance " proceeds to observe -" Perhaps a teetotaler may say, ' abstinence is a stronger defence.' " The Doctor, however, in order to show that such is ...

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 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 previewPocket Dictionary of Ethics (2010)

Over 300 Terms & Ideas Clearly & Concisely Defined by Stanley J. Grenz, Jay T. Smith

abstinence . As a general concept, abstinence denotes the act of re- fraining from a particular activity because of moral, religious or health convictions. As an ethical concept, ...

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 previewEncyclopaedia Perthensis, Or, Universal Dictionary of the Arts, Sciences, Literature, Etc (1816)

Intended to Supersede the Use of Other Books of Reference

*ABSTINENCE. n.s. (abstinentia , Lat.) 1.

Google previewEncyclopedia of the Social and Cultural Foundations of Education (2008)

by Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr.

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 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 ...

Google previewThe SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies (2016)

by Abbie E. Goldberg

Sexuality education has promoted abstinence only for more than a century. The United States federal government became involved in officially promoting it in the 20th century. Specifically, in 1981, with the Adolescent Family Life Act in the ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery (2009)

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 ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Abstinence

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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 President Roosevelt, Cardinal Gibbons, and John Mitchell, together for Mine Workers Day. Wilkes-Barre, PA, August 10, 1905. Gibbons spoke for the Catholic Total Abstinence Union and Mitchell for the USmall photo of Orthodox christian crucifix or cross symbol drawing in ash, dust or sand as lent fasting and abstinence time in desert of jesus before easterSmall photo of A face laid out of nuts of various varieties and dried fruits. Proper nutrition, abstinence, a healthy lifestyle, vegetarian cuisine. Top view, daylight. More...

Video language resources about Abstinence

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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)
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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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