ETYM French abstinence, Latin abstinentia, from abstinere. Related to Abstain.
The practice of refraining from bodily or sensual pleasures in order to attain a higher spiritual state or a more thorough concentration on the sacred. It is integral to the practice of asceticism (training in self-denial for religious benefit), common in Buddhism, Hinduism, and some forms of Christianity.
1. Act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite.
2. The trait of abstaining (especially from alcohol); SYN. abstention.