continence

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Dated from the 14th century as Middle English contynence, from Old French continence, from Latin continentia (a repression). See also countenance.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈkɒntɪnəns/
    • (file)

Noun[edit]

continence (usually uncountable, plural continences)

  1. (urology) The voluntary control of urination and defecation.
  2. Moderation or self-restraint, especially in sexual activity; abstinence.
    • For quotations using this term, see Citations:continence.
    • 1700, [John] Dryden, “Preface”, in Fables Ancient and Modern; [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 228732415:
      He knew what to say; he knew also, when to leave off, — a continence which is practised by few writers.
    • 1651, Jer[emy] Taylor, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living. [], 2nd edition, London: [] Francis Ashe [], OCLC 1203220866:
      Chastity is either abstinence or continence: abstinence is that of virgins or widows; continence of married persons.
    • 1953, Samuel Beckett, Watt
      For this was a line so little frequented, especially at this hour, when the driver, the stoker, the guard and the station staffs all along the line, were anhelating towards their wives, after the long hours of continence, that the train would hardly draw up, when it would be off again, like a bouncing ball.
  3. Uninterrupted course; continuity.
    • 1726, John Ayliffe, Parergon juris canonici Anglicani
      the Continence of the Cause should be divided

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin continentia.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

continence f (plural continences)

  1. continence

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