Pronunciation: (u-set'ik), [key]
1. a person who dedicates his or her life to a pursuit of contemplative ideals and practices extreme self-denial or self-mortification for religious reasons.
2. a person who leads an austerely simple life, esp. one who abstains from the normal pleasures of life or denies himself or herself material satisfaction.
3. (in the early Christian church) a monk; hermit.

adj. Also,as•cet'i•cal.
1. pertaining to asceticism.
2. rigorously abstinent; austere: an ascetic existence.
3. exceedingly strict or severe in religious exercises or self-mortification.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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