celibacy (n.)

1660s, formed in English, with abstract noun suffix -cy + Latin caelibatus "state of being unmarried," from caelebs "unmarried," a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps from PIE *kaiwelo- "alone" + lib(h)s- "living." De Vaan suggests as an alternative PIE *kehi-lo- "whole," which would relate it to health (q.v.): "[I]f this developed to 'unboundness, celibacy', it may explain the meaning 'unmarried' of caelebs-."

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