a person who dedicates his or her life to a pursuit of contemplative ideals and practices extreme self-denial or self-mortification for religious reasons.
a person who leads an austerely simple life, especially one who abstains from the normal pleasures of life or denies himself or herself material satisfaction.
(in the early Christian church) a monk; hermit.
relating to , the doctrine that one can reach a high spiritual state through the practice of extreme self-denial or self-mortification.
rigorously abstinent; austere:
an ascetic existence.
exceedingly strict or severe in religious exercises or self-mortification.
Historical Examples

His mouth was ascetically thin-lipped, but firm and clean cut.
The Vintage Edward Frederic Benson

And so those who are ascetically disposed, if not in their life, in their tastes, condemn Renoir as pretty and sentimental.
The London Mercury, Vol. I, Nos. 1-6, November 1919 to April 1920 Various

“I do not use tobacco nor alcohol in any form,” repeated Hotchkiss ascetically.
Openings in the Old Trail Bret Harte

Irish monasticism was an ascetically ordered continuance of Irish society.
The Mediaeval Mind (Volume I of II) Henry Osborn Taylor

ascetically benevolent were his grey eyes; a pale and ghostly smile played on the curves of his thin lips.
The Island Pharisees John Galsworthy

a person who practises great self-denial and austerities and abstains from worldly comforts and pleasures, esp for religious reasons
(in the early Christian Church) a monk
rigidly abstinent or abstemious; austere
of or relating to ascetics or asceticism
intensely rigorous in religious austerities

1640s, from Greek asketikos “rigorously self-disciplined, laborious,” from asketes “monk, hermit,” earlier “one who practices an art or trade,” from askein “to exercise, train,” originally “to train for athletic competition, practice gymnastics, exercise.”

“one of the early Christians who retired to the desert to live solitary lives of meditation and prayer,” 1670s, from ascetic (adj.).


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