Etymology
Advertisement

ascetic (adj.)

1640s, "practicing rigorous self-denial as a religious exercise," from Latinized form of Greek asketikos "rigorously self-disciplined, laborious," from asketes "monk, hermit," earlier "skilled worker, one who practices an art or trade," especially "athlete, one in training for the arena," from askein "to exercise, train," especially "to train for athletic competition, practice gymnastics, exercise," perhaps originally "to fashion material, embellish or refine material."

The Greek word was applied by the stoics to the controlling of the appetites and passions as the path to virtue and was picked up from them by the early Christians. Figurative sense of "unduly strict or austere" also is from 1640s. Related: Ascetical (1610s).

ascetic (n.)

1650s, "one rigorous in self-denial," especially as an act of religious devotion; 1670s, Ascetic, "one of the early Christians who retired to the desert to live solitary lives of meditation, self-denial, and prayer," from ascetic (adj.).

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of ascetic
1
ascetic (adj.)
pertaining to or characteristic of an ascetic or the practice of rigorous self-discipline;
ascetic practices
Synonyms: ascetical
ascetic (adj.)
practicing great self-denial; "Be systematically ascetic...do...something for no other reason than that you would rather not do it"- William James;
Synonyms: ascetical / austere / spartan
2
ascetic (n.)
someone who practices self denial as a spiritual discipline;
Synonyms: abstainer
From wordnet.princeton.edu