celiba-, celibat-

(Latin: unmarried; vow not to marry; chaste, morally pure in thought and conduct; that which is considered to be decent and virtuous behavior)

celibacy (SEL uh buh see) (s) (noun), celibacies (pl)
1. A state or condition of being unmarried: Anyone who remains unmarried in order to follow a certain religious calling is said to be committed or dedicated to a lifestyle of celibacy.

David decided that he could not live a life of celibacy and so he left the priesthood so he could marry the woman he loved.

2. Erotic or sensual abstinence or the practice of chastity for religious reasons or as a personal choice: Eve and Adam agreed that they would continue their relationship in celibacy until they are married and become husband and wife.

The celibacy of religious clergy has existed for many centuries.

Celibacy can be involuntary; such as, in a prison where celibacy is supposed to be enforced.

Members of various religious orders must take vows of celibacy; and, occasionally, spinsters or bachelors may be "celibates" because no one feels inclined to accept them as romantic or marriage partners.

3. Etymology: from Latin caelibatus, "situation of being unmarried"; from caelebs, "unmarried".
celibatarian (SEL uh buh tair" ee uhn) (s) (noun), celibatarians (pl)
Someone who lives or advocates self-denial for any marital activities; especially, for reasons of religious promises or sacred commitments to live and to act in accordance with the rules of a religious order; or the moral conditions that should exist when one is unmarried: According to Catholic beliefs, priests are celibatarians who are mediators between God and humans and being unmarried facilitates the accomplishments of these functions because unmarried priests can be concerned more about the things of God while married priests would have to be more responsible for their families and to consider the rights of their wives; therefore, much of their time and energy would have to be given to nonreligious preoccupations.
celibate (SEL uh bit) (adjective) (not comparable)
1. A reference to being unmarried: A celebate person is someone who has taken a vow or made an earnest promise to live a life without getting married; especially, for religious reasons or as a personal decision: Unlike Catholic priests, preachers or ministers of other Christian groups are not required to be single when they teach their congregations the Word of God.

Ted's wife chose to live a celibate life after he died. 2. Descriptive of anyone who abstains from doing anything that is immoral or wrong and who is honest and exhibits goodness and correctness of character and behavior: Christians certainly are expected to live moral or celibate lives and so they get married, may have legitimate children, and are examples of those who who live by Christian principles that express what is just, honest, and honorable.

celibate (SEL uh bit) (s) (noun), celibates (pl)
1. Someone who is not married for personal reasons or as a religious commitment or promise: James and Jane dated each other for two years in high school and they pledged to stay celibate until they were married and they were very thankful that they remained celibate because after they discontinued their relationship, they married different partners when they got older.

After her fiancé was killed in an automobile accident, Susan vowed to remain a celibate for the rest of her life.

2. Anyone who is totally lacking in romantic attachments to any members of the opposite gender or even those of the same gender: The hermit lived as a celibate, isolated from contact with other people and living totally alone on a small island.

There are some adults, for one reason or another, who figure that the disadvantages of marriage outweigh the advantages and so they are celibates, in that they never marry; however, those who live with someone of the opposite or the same gender without marrying, do not necessarily live as celibates.

Although the primary meaning of celibate is "unmarried", no one should with any logical basis refer to a single man or woman as being a celibate simply because he or she has made no legal marital commitments.

Only that adult who persistently avoids, or is denied, all romantic encounters with the opposite, or the same, gender may be called a celibate.

4. Etymology: from Latin caelibatus, from caelebs, caelib-, "unmarried".
Someone who is not married.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

celibate marriage (SEL uh bit mair" ij) (s) (noun), celibate marriages (pl)
A marriage in which little or no love-making activity occurs between two spouses: There are some married couples who have celibate marriages because they have different work schedules, have demanding and busy lives, as a result of old age, or for a variety of other reasons.

A feature of a Catholic celibate marriage, or Josephite marriage, is the agreement to abstain from participating in intimate activities as a mutual decision.

Sometimes, celibate marriages, or "spiritual marriages", may also take place later in life after raising a family so the couple can fully dedicate themselves to serving the humanitarian objectives of their church.

celibately (SEL uh bit li) (adverb), more celibately, most celibately
A descriptive term for staying moral and devoted to one's religious beliefs: Priests and nuns vow to remain celibately faithful as part of their religious dedications and many youth groups and religious organizations promote staying celibately committed to a virtuous, honorable, and decent life until they are married.
celibatic (SEL uh bah tik) (adjective), more celibatic, most celibatic
1. Relating to the abstention of sensual relationships of a physical nature: The married couple were living a celibatic existence because they were committed as missionaries to help people to survive the ebola epidemic and to become Christians.
2. A reference to being unmarried: There are some people who choose to remain celibatic individuals because they have objectives in life that they feel would be hampered by marriage and the responsibilities that they might have for any children who might result from such a relationship.
non-celibate (nahn SEL uh bit) (adjective), more non-celibate, most non-celibate
Referring to anyone who is not dedicated to being married or who is having sensual relations with an unmarried individual: Jan knew a woman who was having an intimate relationship with a so-called non-celibate priest in her church.