AskDefine | Define abstemious

Dictionary Definition

abstemious adj
1 sparing in consumption of especially food and drink; "the pleasures of the table, never of much consequence to one naturally abstemious"- John Galsworthy [ant: gluttonous]
2 marked by temperance in indulgence; "abstemious meals"; "a light eater"; "a light smoker"; "ate a light supper" [syn: light(a)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin abstemius; ab, abs + root of temetum intoxicating drink.



  1. (Original Latin sense) Abstaining from wine.
    • Milton:
      Under his special eye Abstemious I grew up and thrived amain.
  2. Sparing in diet; refraining from a free use of food and strong drinks; temperate; abstinent; sparing in the indulgence of the appetite or passions.
    • Arbuthnot:
      Instances of longevity are chiefly among the abstemious.
  3. Sparingly used; used with temperance or moderation
  4. Marked by, or spent in, abstinence; as, an abstemious life.
    • Pope:
      One abstemious day.
  5. Promotive of abstemiousness
    • Dryden:
      Such is the virtue of the abstemious well.



This word uses all five vowels just once and in alphabetical order (others are abstentious, annelidous, arsenious, casesious, facetious and fracedinous).

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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