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January 17, 2017

Word of the Day

  • abstemious
  • audio pronunciation
  • \ab-STEE-mee-us\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

: : marked by restraint especially in the consumption of food or alcohol; also : reflecting such restraint

  • EXAMPLE

Allie's midlife heart attack opened her eyes to the importance of taking care of her body and turned her to a more abstemious and healthful lifestyle.

"He is so abstemious that he once declared that to avoid temptation, he would never appear anywhere alcohol was served unless his wife was with him." - Michael Barbaro and Monica Davey, The New York Times, 16 July 2016

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Abstemious and abstain look alike, and both have meanings involving self-restraint or self-denial. So they must both come from the same root, right? Yes and no. Both get their start from the Latin prefix abs-, meaning "from" or "away." But abstain traces to the Latin abstin?re, a combination of abs- and the Latin verb ten?re ("to hold"), while abstemious comes from the Latin abst?mius, which combines abs- with t?m- (a stem found in the Latin t?m?tum, "intoxicating beverage," and t?mulentus, "drunken") and the adjectival suffix -ius ("full of, abounding in, having, possessing the qualities of").

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