Pronunciation: (u-set'u-siz"um), [key]
1. the manner of life, practices, or principles of an ascetic.
2. the doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification, and the like.
3. rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence; austerity.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.