browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Sixteen Days

Posted by on July 30, 2002

cel-i-bate n.

One who abstains from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows.

One who is unmarried.

Usage Note: Historically, celibate means only "unmarried." Its use to mean "abstaining from sexual intercourse" is a 20th-century development. But the new sense of the word seems to have displaced the old, and the use of celibate to mean "unmarried" is now almost sure to invite misinterpretation in other than narrowly ecclesiastical contexts. Sixty-eight percent of the Usage Panel rejected the older use in the sentence He remained celibate [unmarried], although he engaged in sexual intercourse.

7 Responses to Sixteen Days

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *