Ascetic is an adjective that describes a lifestyle characterized by rigorous self-denial, abstinence from worldly pleasures, and often marked by spiritual discipline and austerity. An ascetic person lives a simple life and often practices self-discipline, fasting, and other forms of self-deprivation in order to achieve spiritual or religious goals.


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Part of Speech



austere, abstemious, rigorous, self-disciplined, spartan, self-denying, abstinent


indulgent, hedonistic, self-indulgent, permissive, libertine

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun ascetic, ascetics
Verb None
Adjective ascetic, ascetical
Adverb ascetically

Example Sentences

  • The ascetic monk lived a life of extreme self-denial and simplicity, devoting himself entirely to prayer and meditation.

  • After years of living a hedonistic lifestyle, John decided to become more ascetic, giving up alcohol and junk food and focusing on meditation and self-reflection.

  • The ascetic practices of the yogis and mystics of India have inspired many people around the world to seek a more spiritual and disciplined way of life.

  • The monk lived an ascetic life, spending most of his time in meditation and prayer and abstaining from worldly pleasures.


The term “ascetic” comes from the Greek word “askēsis,” which means “exercise” or “training.” It is often associated with religious or spiritual practices, such as those found in Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, where the pursuit of a higher spiritual ideal is considered more important than the material world. In these traditions, asceticism is seen as a means of purifying the soul and bringing it closer to the divine.

However, the concept of asceticism is not limited to religious or spiritual practices. It can also refer to any lifestyle that emphasizes self-discipline and self-denial in the pursuit of a specific goal. For example, athletes, artists, and entrepreneurs may adopt an ascetic lifestyle in order to achieve their desired level of performance or success.

Asceticism is often associated with a sense of sacrifice, as the ascetic person gives up many of the pleasures of the world in order to achieve their goals. However, it can also be seen as a form of empowerment, as the ascetic person gains control over their desires and impulses and learns to focus their energy and attention on their chosen path.

The term “ascetic” can be used to describe a person, a lifestyle, or a practice. It can also be combined with other words to create new meanings, such as “asceticism,” which refers to the overall philosophy or practice of asceticism, and “ascetic retreat,” which is a secluded place where people can practice self-denial and spiritual discipline.