Ab"sti*nence (?), n. [F. abstinence,
L. abstinentia, fr. abstinere. See Abstain.]
1. The act or practice of abstaining; voluntary
forbearance of any action, especially the refraining from an indulgence of
appetite, or from customary gratifications of animal or sensual
propensities. Specifically, the practice of abstaining from intoxicating
beverages, -- called also total abstinence.
The abstinence from a present pleasure that offers
itself is a pain, nay, oftentimes, a very great one.
2. The practice of self-denial by depriving one's
self of certain kinds of food or drink, especially of meat.
Penance, fasts, and abstinence,
To punish bodies for the soul's offense.