A form of self-discipline, often religiously motivated, based on the virtue of renunciation. Living an ascetic lifestyle involves giving up various worldly pleasures, such as sexual activity, overeating, or material gain.
Example: A successful investment analyst gives up his Manhattan penthouse and retires to a small town where he can avoid the intense stimulation of city life.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Oct 2008