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Chastity refers to the sexual behavior of a man or woman acceptable to the moral standards and guidelines of a culture, civilization, or religion. In the western world, the term has become closely associated (and is often used interchangeably) with sexual abstinence, especially before marriage. However, the term remains applicable to persons in all states, single or married, clerical or lay, and has implications beyond sexual temperance.


  • In all that concerns chastity and marriage their principles are of the utmost purity. Everywhere the great teacher recommends chastity and temperance; but at the same time he directs that the married should first become parents before living a life of absolute celibacy, in order that children might be born under favourable conditions for continuing the holy life and succession of the Sacred Science (Iamblichus, Vit. Pythag., and Hierocl., ap. Stob. Serm. xlv, 14). This is exceedingly interesting, for it is precisely the same regulation that is laid down in the Mânava Dharma Shâstra, the great Indian Code. Adultery was most sternly condemned (Iamb., ibid.).
  • The authors of antiquity are agreed that this discipline had succeeded in producing the highest examples not only of the purest chastity and sentiment, but also a simplicity of manners, a delicacy, and a taste for serious pursuits which was unparalleled.
  • CHASTITY. Rarely use Venery but for Health or Offspring; Never to Dulness, Weakness, or the Injury of your own or another's Peace or Reputation.
  • As pure as a pearl,
    And as perfect: a noble and innocent girl.
    • Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Lucile (1860), Part II, Canto VI, Stanza 16.
  • 'Tis chastity, my brother, chastity;
    She that has that is clad in complete steel,
    And, like a quiver'd nymph with arrows keen,
    May trace huge forests, and unharbour'd heaths,
    Infamous hills, and sandy perilous wilds;
    Where, through the sacred rays of chastity,
    No savage fierce, bandite, or mountaineer,
    Will dare to soil her virgin purity.
  • So dear to Heaven is saintly chastity,
    That, when a soul is found sincerely so,
    A thousand liveried angels lacky her,
    Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt.
  • Like the stain'd web that whitens in the sun,
    Grow pure by being purely shone upon.
  • Chaste as the icicle
    That's curded by the frost from purest snow
    And hangs on Dian's temple.
  • Neque femina amissa pudicitia alia abnuerit.
    • When a woman has lost her chastity, she will shrink from no crime.
    • Tacitus, Annales (AD 117), IV. 3.
  • Even from the body's purity, the mind
    Receives a secret sympathetic aid.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 108-09.
  • There's a woman like a dew-drop,
    She's so purer than the purest.
  • That chastity of honour which felt a stain like a wound.
  • If she seem not chaste to me.
    What care I how chaste she be?
  • A nice man is a man of nasty ideas.
    • Jonathan Swift, preface to one of Bishop Burnet's Introductions to History of the Reformation.
  • Then she rode forth, clothed on with chastity:
    The deep air listen'd round her as she rode,
    And all the low wind hardly breathed for fear.

External links[edit]

  • Encyclopedic article on Chastity at Wikipedia
  • The dictionary definition of chastity at Wiktionary