Definition of abstemious in English:


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  • Not self-indulgent, especially when eating and drinking.

    ‘“We only had a bottle.” “Very abstemious of you.”’
    • ‘Dalton was said to be abstemious but did indulge in a game of bowls on a Thursday.’
    • ‘There is no evidence, however, that a single drinking bout in an otherwise abstemious person will lead to pancreatitis.’
    • ‘I considered a 48 hour fast, however decided that any gain that would be attained from this abstemious behaviour would be completely off-set by the onslaught of DT's that this effort would inevitably induce.’
    • ‘Judged alongside their abstemious Anglo-Saxon counterparts, they were seen as unruly, belligerent and not to be relied on, a slur that was extended to generations through media distortion and police discrimination.’
    • ‘My main support now is Phil, an abstemious, Welsh dancer who seems quite pleased that I share one of his lifestyle choices.’
    • ‘There is a trend for alcohol limits to become tighter - a trend more related to the increasing sobriety of the wider political climate than to the emergence of epidemiological evidence justifying a more abstemious policy.’
    • ‘However, it was the abstemious Chartist family, the Cranstons, who really put the coffee houses' adversaries, the Glasgow tea rooms, on the map in the 1890s.’
    • ‘There's still the same warm smile and shock of black hair, and there's clearly something to be said for her abstemious lifestyle for she looks a decade younger than it says on her birth certificate.’
    • ‘A close family member confirmed that she lived a fairly simple and abstemious life, and spent some years in a nursing home before her death in May 1998.’
    • ‘Robinson, famed for his Christian beliefs and his abstemious lifestyle, also found time to have lunch with his mother, who still lives in Leeds.’
    • ‘In personality they were frugal, abstemious, shrewd, accumulative, and solitary.’
    • ‘Taylor portrays Hitler as a sour, arrogant, abstemious spoilsport and friend to small animals.’
    • ‘I would follow the same abstemious regime, but unlike him I don't have an accommodating housekeeper.’
    • ‘New England in the 19th century was the apex of conformity: staid, stuffy and abstemious.’
    • ‘The bill for our relatively abstemious meal worked out, with a tip, at nearly 40 leva a head.’
    • ‘Both were abstemious by nature, but knew how to enjoy themselves and were interesting company.’
    • ‘Left to my own devices, I am an abstemious person, as innocent as a baby and jaw-droppingly naive.’
    • ‘When he sits down to celebrate his 40th birthday next Wednesday, this most abstemious of professionals can raise a glass to himself and genuinely declare he could not have done any more or any better.’
    • ‘Josiah Harlan was a pacifist, abstemious Pennsylvania Quaker stricken with a profound case of wanderlust.’
    • ‘He took seriously his pledge made at the outset of the war that he would live a frugal and abstemious existence as long as the war lasted.’
    temperate, abstinent, austere, moderate, self-disciplined, self-denying, restrained, self-restrained, non-indulgent, sober, ascetic, puritanical, spartan, strict, severe, self-abnegating, hair-shirt
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/əbˈstēmēəs/ /əbˈstimiəs/


Early 17th century from Latin abstemius, (from ab- ‘from’ + a word related to temetum ‘alcoholic drink’) + -ous.