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Definition of "celibacy" [ce•lib•a•cy]

  • Abstinence from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows. (noun)
  • The condition of being unmarried. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "celibacy" in a sentence
  • "Pope Benedict XVI said that the Vatican's recent sex-abuse crisis might prompt aspiring priests to question the Catholic Church's requirement that clergy be celibate, wading for the first time into a debate over whether priestly celibacy is partly to blame for the abuse."
  • "But a look at the behavior of politicians and Protestant ministers -- even just those iceberg tips that actually emerge into daylight -- should tell us that celibacy is a small part of the story."
  • "The problem with the church's insistence on clerical celibacy is not sexual but social."