MEANING: adjective: Self-restraining, especially in eating or drinking.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin abstinere (to hold back), from ab- (away) + tenere (to hold). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which also gave us tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, pertinacious, detente, countenance, distend, extenuate, and tenable. Earliest documented use: 1839.


ABSENTIOUS - chronically truant

NABSTENTIOUS - having a tendency to arrest suspects, with very weak evidence