forbearance from any indulgence of appetite, especially from the use of alcoholic beverages: total abstinence.
any self-restraint, self-denial, or forbearance.
Economics. the conserving of current income in order to build up capital or savings.
the state of being without a drug, as alcohol or heroin, on which one is dependent.
Also, abstinency.

1250–1300; Middle English < Latin abstinentia. See abstain, -ence

abstinent, adjective
abstinently, adverb
proabstinence, adjective

abstention, abstinence.

1. abstemiousness, sobriety, teetotalism.
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World English Dictionary
abstinence (ˈæbstɪnəns)
1.  the act or practice of refraining from some action or from the use of something, esp alcohol
2.  chiefly RC Church the practice of refraining from specific kinds of food or drink, esp from meat, as an act of penance
[C13: via Old French from Latin abstinentia, from abstinēre to abstain]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "forbearance in indulgence of the appetites," from L. abstinentia, from abstinens (gen. abstinentis), prp. of abstinere (see abstain). Specifically of sexual appetites from mid-14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

abstinence ab·sti·nence (āb'stə-nəns)
The act or practice of refraining from indulgence in an appetite, as for certain foods, drink, alcoholic beverages, drugs, or sex.

ab'sti·nent adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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