Etymology
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celibacy (n.)

1660s, "state of being unmarried, voluntary abstention from marriage," formed in English from abstract noun suffix -cy + Latin caelibatus "state of being unmarried," from caelebs "unmarried," a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps it is 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-."

Originally and through the 19c. celibacy was opposed to marriage, and celibacy, except as a religious vow, often was frowned upon as leading to (or being an excuse for) sexual indulgence and debauchery among bachelors. By 1950s it was being used sometimes in a sense of "voluntary abstinence from sexuality," without reference to marriage.

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celibate (adj.)

"unmarried, sworn to remain single," 1825, probably from celibate (n.) or from celibacy on the model of privacy/private, etc.

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celibate (n.)

1610s, "state of celibacy" (especially as mandated to clergy in the Catholic church) from French célibat (16c.), from Latin caelibatus "state of being unmarried" (see celibacy). This was the only sense until early 19c.; the meaning "one who is sworn to celibacy" is from 1838. Other nouns in this sense were celibatarian, celibatist, celibian.

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pantagamy (n.)

"communistic group marriage," in which every man in the group is regarded as equally the husband of every woman in it and vice versa; especially as practiced at in mid-19c. Perfectionist communes such as that of Oneida, New York; 1852, from Greek pantos "all" (see pan-)  + -gamy "marriage." A malformation, it would properly be *pantogamy; as pant- was the short form of the Greek word before a vowel, and Greek agamy was "celibacy," the modern word would literally mean "celibacy of all."

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maidenhead (n.)

"virginity (of a woman), condition of a maiden," c. 1200, from maiden (n.) + Middle English -hede (see -head). Compare Middle English maidehede "celibacy, virginity" (of men or women), literally "maid-hood," from Old English mæðhad.

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abbey (n.)

mid-13c., "monastery or convent devoted to religion and celibacy, headed by an abbot or abbess," from Anglo-French abbeie, Old French abaïe (Modern French abbaye), from Late Latin abbatia, from abbas (genitive abbatis); see abbot. At the dissolution of the monasteries, the name often was kept by abbey churches (as in Westminster Abbey) or estate houses that formerly were abbey residences.

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nun (n.)

Old English nunne "woman devoted to religious life under vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience to a superior," also "vestal, pagan priestess," from Late Latin nonna "nun, tutor," originally (along with masc. nonnus) a term of address to elderly persons, perhaps from children's speech, reminiscent of nana (compare Sanskrit nona, Persian nana "mother," Greek nanna "aunt," Serbo-Croatian nena "mother," Italian nonna, Welsh nain "grandmother;" see nanny).

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chastity (n.)

c. 1200, chastete, "sexual purity" (as defined by the Church), including but not limited to virginity or celibacy, from Old French chastete "chastity, purity" (12c., Modern French chasteté), from Latin castitatem (nominative castitas) "purity, chastity" from castus "cut off, separated; pure" (see caste). Chastity-belt is from 1894 (belt of chastity is from 1878).

Chastity is merely a social law created to encourage the alliances that most promote the permanent welfare of the race, and to maintain woman in a social position which it is thought advisable she should hold. [Saturday Review, Aug. 10, 1867, quoted in Lecky, "History of European Morals," 1869]
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