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sexual conduct of a person that is deemed praiseworthy and virtuous

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.


  • 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 QuotationsEdit

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.

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