What does ascetic mean?

Definitions for ascetic

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word ascetic.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. abstainer, asceticadjective

    someone who practices self denial as a spiritual discipline

  2. ascetic, asceticaladjective

    pertaining to or characteristic of an ascetic or the practice of rigorous self-discipline

    "ascetic practices"

  3. ascetic, ascetical, austere, spartanadjective

    practicing great self-denial

    "Be systematically ascetic...do...something for no other reason than that you would rather not do it"- William James; "a desert nomad's austere life"; "a spartan diet"; "a spartan existence"


  1. asceticnoun

    One who is devoted to the practice of self-denial, either through seclusion or stringent abstinence.

  2. asceticadjective

    Of or relating to ascetics; characterized by rigorous self-denial or self-discipline; austere; abstinent; involving a withholding of physical pleasure.

  3. Etymology: From ἀσκητικός, from ἀσκητής, from ἀσκέω.


  1. ascetic

    Asceticism (; from the Greek: ἄσκησις, romanized: áskesis, lit. 'exercise', 'training') is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Ascetics may withdraw from the world for their practices or continue to be part of their society, but typically adopt a frugal lifestyle, characterised by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures, and also spend time fasting while concentrating on the practice of religion or reflection upon spiritual matters. Various individuals have also attempted an ascetic lifestyle to free themselves from addictions, some of them particular to modern life, such as money, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, entertainment, sex, food, etc.Asceticism has been historically observed in many religious and philosophic traditions, including Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Stoicism and Pythagoreanism and contemporary practices continue amongst some religious followers.Practitioners abandon sensual pleasures and lead an abstinent lifestyle, in the pursuit of redemption, salvation, or spirituality. Many ascetics believe the action of purifying the body helps to purify the soul, and thus obtain a greater connection with the Divine or find inner peace. This may take the form of rituals, the renunciation of pleasure, or self-mortification. However, ascetics maintain that self-imposed constraints bring them greater freedom in various areas of their lives, such as increased clarity of thought and the ability to resist potentially destructive temptations. Asceticism is seen in the ancient theologies as a journey towards spiritual transformation, where the simple is sufficient, the bliss is within, the frugal is plenty. Inversely, several ancient religious traditions, such as Zoroastrianism, Ancient Egyptian religion, and the Dionysian Mysteries, vamachara, and the modern Western occult left-hand path traditions, openly reject ascetic practices and either focus on various types of hedonism or on the importance of family life, both rejecting celibacy.


  1. ascetic

    An ascetic is a person who practices severe self-discipline and abstains from all forms of indulgence, often for religious or spiritual reasons. This lifestyle often includes abstinence from physical pleasures and comforts, typically involves periods of fasting and solitude, and is characterized by simplicity and minimalism.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Asceticadjective

    extremely rigid in self-denial and devotions; austere; severe

  2. Asceticnoun

    in the early church, one who devoted himself to a solitary and contemplative life, characterized by devotion, extreme self-denial, and self-mortification; a hermit; a recluse; hence, one who practices extreme rigor and self-denial in religious things

  3. Etymology: [Gr. , fr. to exercise, to practice gymnastics.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ascetic

    as-set′ik, n. one who rigidly denies himself ordinary sensual gratifications for conscience' sake, one who aims to compass holiness through self-mortification, the flesh being considered as the seat of sin, and therefore to be chastened: a strict hermit.—adjs. Ascet′ic, -al, excessively rigid: austere: recluse.—adv. Ascet′ically.—n. Ascet′icism. [Gr. askētikos (adj. askētēs), one that uses exercises to train himself—askein, to work, take exercise, (eccles.) to mortify the body.]

Suggested Resources

  1. Ascetic

    Aesthetic vs. Ascetic -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Aesthetic and Ascetic.

Anagrams for ascetic »

  1. accites

  2. siccate

  3. castice

How to pronounce ascetic?

How to say ascetic in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ascetic in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ascetic in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of ascetic in a Sentence

  1. Bertrand Russell:

    Religions, which condemn the pleasures of sense, drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic.

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"ascetic." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ascetic>.

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