continence

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Dated from the 14th Century CE; from Old French continence, from Latin continentia (a repression).

Noun[edit]

continence (uncountable)

  1. The voluntary control of urination and defecation.
  2. Moderation or self-restraint, especially in sexual activity; abstinence.
    • For usage examples of this term, see the citations page.
    • Dryden
      He knew what to say; he knew also, when to leave off, — a continence which is practiced by few writers.
    • Jeremy Taylor
      Chastity is either abstinence or continence: abstinence is that of virgins or widows; continence, that of married persons.
  3. Uninterrupted course; continuity.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ayliffe to this entry?)

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Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  • continence” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).