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  • Adj.

abstemious

ab-STEE-mee-uhs

Context
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Helga’s abstemious lifestyle kept her from ordering the double chocolate cake at dinner. In an abstemious effort to eat in a balanced fashion, Helga enjoyed the chicken and fresh fennel salad, but rejected dessert altogether. Likewise, her abstemious habits kept her from ordering the white wine that was recommended with the meal. Such abstemious, moderate, and cautious dining practices seemed extreme, but they did keep Helga healthy.

Quiz: What is an example of abstemious behavior?

  • Sleeping for fourteen or fifteen hours every day.
  • Having a small piece of dessert at a party.
  • Refusing to call someone back out of spite.
Definition

Memory Hook
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Stemming Us If we are abstemious, we stem the tide of too much food and drink filling us up.

Examples
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  • Taken together, they describe a young businessman who was both exceptionally driven and entirely abstemious, one who always preferred to reinvest his earnings rather than enjoy them. —The Atlantic
  • An abstemious eater, she fasted on Fridays, a practice she learned from her father Ben Ross. —NPR

Word Ingredients
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abs- away, from
tem alcoholic drink
-ious of the nature of

One is being abstemious when one is of the nature of keeping alcoholic drinks away or from oneself.

Word Constellation
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Abstemious