CONTINENCE, CONTINENCY, n. [L., to hold, or withhold; con and teneo, to hold. See Tenet.]

1. In a general sense, the restraint which a person imposes upon his desires and passions; self-command.

2. Appropriately, the restraint of the passion for sexual enjoyment; resistance of concupiscence; forbearance of lewd pleasures; hence, chastity. But the term is usually applied to males, as chastity is to females. Scipio the younger exhibited the nobles example of continence recorded in Pagan history; an example surpassed only by that of Joseph in sacred history.

3. Forbearance of lawful pleasure.

Content without lawful venery, is continence; without unlawful, is chastity.

4. Moderation in the indulgence of sexual enjoyment.

Chastity is either abstinence or continence; abstinence is that of virgins or widows; continence, that of married persons.

5. Continuity; uninterrupted course. [Not now used.]