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celibacy

[sel-uh-buh-see] /ˈsɛl ə bə si/
noun
1.
abstention from sexual relations.
2.
abstention by vow from marriage:
the celibacy of priests.
3.
the state of being unmarried.
Origin of celibacy
1655-1665
1655-65; < Latin caelibā(tus) celibacy (caelib-, stem of caelebs single + -ātus -ate3) + -cy
Related forms
celibatic
[sel-uh-bat-ik] /ˌsɛl əˈbæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for celibacy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The most eminent of the early Fathers commended asceticism, particularly fasting and celibacy, and many likewise practised it.

    The Rise of the Mediaeval Church Alexander Clarence Flick
  • The merit of celibacy is a very old religious idea in Hindostan.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Paul's teaching is strongly in favour of celibacy, and marriage is only advised to avoid a greater evil.

    Religion & Sex Chapman Cohen
  • "celibacy has no place in our idea or our system of religion, depend on it," said Carlton.

    Loss and Gain John Henry Newman
  • celibacy and abstinence are rarely observed in their monasteries but these are by no means of low repute.

  • It does not consist in celibacy, or in begging, or in vile apparel.

  • No person who has taken holy orders which involve a solemn vow to celibacy can contract a valid marriage.

Word Origin and History for celibacy
n.

1660s, formed in English, with -cy + Latin caelibatus "state of being unmarried," from caelebs "unmarried," probably from PIE root *kaiwelo- "alone" + lib(h)s- "living."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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