• (RP) IPA: /æbˈstiː.mɪ.əs/
  • (GA) IPA: /æbˈsti.mi.əs/, /əb-/


  1. refrain#Verb|Refraining from freely consuming food or strong drink; sparing#Adjective|sparing in diet#Noun|diet; abstinent#Adjective|abstinent, temperate#Adjective|temperate. [From early 17th c.]
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, “Of the Cameleon”, in Pseudodoxia Epidemica: Or, Enquiries into Very Many Received Tenents, and Commonly Presumed Truths, London: Printed for Tho. Harper for Edvvard Dod, OCLC 838860010 ↗; Pseudodoxia Epidemica: Or, Enquiries into Very Many Received Tenents, and Commonly Presumed Truths. […], 2nd corrected and much enlarged edition, London: Printed by A. Miller, for Edw[ard] Dod and Nath. Ekins, […], 1650, OCLC 152706203 ↗, book 3, page 133 ↗:
      It cannot be denied it [the chameleon#English|chameleon] is (if not the moſt of any) a very abſtemious animall, and ſuch as by reaſon of its frigidity, paucity of bloud, and latitancy in the winter (about which time the obſervations are often made) will long ſubſist without a viſible ſuſtentation.
    • 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, […]”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗, lines 637–638, page 42 ↗:
      Under his ſpecial eie / Abſtemious I [ I, abstemious naturally, and rendered so by the fever that preyed on me, was forced to recruit myself with food.
    • 1919, W[illiam] Somerset Maugham, chapter XXVIII, in The Moon and Sixpence. A Novel, London: William Heinemann, OCLC 563525353 ↗; The Moon and Sixpence, 1st American edition, [New York, N.Y.]: Grosset & Dunlap Publishers by arrangement with George H. Doran Company, 1919, OCLC 365836 ↗, page 147 ↗:
      In the dimness of the landing I could not see him very well, but there was something in his voice that surprised me. I knew he was of abstemious habit or I should have thought he had been drinking.
  2. sparing#Adjective|Sparing in the indulgence of the appetite or passions.
  3. Sparingly used; used with temperance or moderation.
  4. mark#Verb|Marked by, or spend#Verb|spent in, abstinence.
    an abstemious life
    • 1715, Homer; [Alexander] Pope, transl., “Book XIX”, in The Iliad of Homer, volume V, London: Printed by W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott between the Temple-Gates, OCLC 670734254 ↗, lines 325–328, page 170:
      If yet ''{{w
  5. (rare) Promotive of abstemiousness.
    • 1700, [John] Dryden, “Of the Pythagorean Philosophy. From Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book XV”, in Fables Ancient and Modern; […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 228732415 ↗, page 521 ↗:
      But ſtranger Virtues yet in Streams we find, / Some change not only Bodies, but the Mind: / […] Clytorian Streams the love of Wine expel, / (Such is the virtue of th' abſtemious Well;) {{...}

Antonyms Translations Translations
  • Russian: бережли́вый
  • Spanish: abstemio

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