Word of the Day

Monday, July 21, 2003


\uh-SET-ik\ , noun;
One who renounces material comforts and practices extreme self-denial, especially as an act of religious devotion.
Pertaining to or characteristic of an ascetic; extremely strict in self-denial; austere; severe.
Those who practiced the cult of Orpheus banded themselves into ascetic brotherhoods and tried to purify their souls through diet and dress.
-- Peter France, Hermits: The Insights of Solitude
Modern race drivers are, by comparison, an ascetic bunch, largely non-drinkers, definitely non-smokers, who trot off dutifully to bed when they are told.
-- Kevin Eason, "When the drive to succeed becomes a real team effort", Times (London), April 17, 2000
Virtually inventing the genre of autobiography with his book "Confessions," he told of his sinful life before his conversion to Christianity and adoption of an ascetic, and celibate, life as a priest.
-- "Back to life" review of Saint Augustine by Garry Wills", The Economist, November 13, 1999
Ascetic derives from Greek asketikos, "industrious, athletic," from askesis, "exercise, training," from askein, "to work, to exercise, to train."
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