ABSTE'MIOUS, a. [L. abstemium, from abs and temetum, an ancient name of strong wine, according to Fabius and Gellius. But Vossius supposes it to be from abstineo, by a change of n to m. It may be from the root of timeo, to fear, that is, to withdraw.]

1. Sparing in diet; refraining from a free use of food and strong drinks.

Instances of longevity are chiefly among the abstemious.

2. Sparing in the enjoyment of animal pleasures of any kind. [This sense is less common, and perhaps not legitimate.]

3. Sparingly used, or used with temperance; belonging to abstinence; as an abstemious diet; an abstemious life.