"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uh-set-uh-siz-uh m] /əˈsɛt əˌsɪz əm/
the manner of life, practices, or principles of an ascetic.
the doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification, and the like.
rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence; austerity.
Origin of asceticism
1640-50; ascetic + -ism
Related forms
nonasceticism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for asceticism
  • Monastic asceticism stands at odds with the physical quality of human nature.
  • His asceticism seems also to govern his view of narrative.
  • They have none of the asceticism of their forebears.
  • Piety led her to the severest asceticism.
  • Boats breed a kind of asceticism — there simply isn't room to be a pack rat.
  • Its holy men practice an extreme asceticism.
  • That ritual asceticism stands for more than physical fitness.
  • Yet asceticism and lean muscle are the real fabric of all three pieces.
  • Plywood has also been admired, function aside, for its asceticism.
  • Drinking is a protest against the imposition of a culturally constructed feminine asceticism.
British Dictionary definitions for asceticism


the behaviour, discipline, or outlook of an ascetic, esp of a religious ascetic
the principles of ascetic practices, esp in the early Christian Church
the theory and system of ascetic practices
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for asceticism

1640s, from ascetic (adj.) + -ism. Sometimes also ascetism (c.1850).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
asceticism in Culture
asceticism [(uh-set-uh-siz-uhm)]

An austere, simple way of life in which persons renounce material pleasures and devote their energy to moral or religious purpose.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for asceticism

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for asceticism

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with asceticism