(Greek: struggle, a contest [in war or in sports], to contend for a prize; physical activity, rigorous self-discipline or training)
2. The act of denying oneself; controlling one's impulses.
3. Etymology: from Late Latin, which came from Greek askēsis; literally, "exercise", from Greek askein.
2. A person who renounces material comforts and leads a life of austere self-discipline; especially, as an act of religious devotion: There have been ascetics who have devoted their lives to God with prayer, fasting, and consecration or solemn commitment to helping those who were in need of spiritual and physical help.
3. Etymology: used since about 1646, from Greek asketikos, "rigorously self-disciplined", from asketes, "monk, hermit"; from askein, "to exercise, to train"; originally, "to train for athletic competition, to practice gymnastics, to exercise".
The noun meaning "one of the early Christians who retired to the desert to live solitary lives of meditation and prayer" is from 1673.
Ascetic actually goes back to Greek asketes, "an athlete in training". The Greek word for athletic training is askesis, and from it we get ascesis, which means "rigorous self-discipline" or "training".
Very much the same thing is denoted by "asceticism", which was first used in English by Sir Thomas Browne in 1646.
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2. The doctrine that the rigorous self-denial, abstinence form of life releases the soul from bondage to the body and permits a union with the divine.
Originally, an ascetic was someone who practiced the mode of life of a hermit or a monk, characterized by solitude, meditation, prayer, toil, fasting, and celibacy.
Implicit in this lifestyle of self-discipline and self-denial is the idea that the pleasures of this world should be renounced in favor of a "higher" purpose; such as, intellectual discipline or spiritual insight.
2. Someone who is trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.
2. Physically strong and well-developed; muscular: "Brent was an actor with an athletic physique."
2. Skill in running, jumping, throwing, etc.
2. An athletic contest comprising of any two consecutive events.