• WordNet 3.6
    • n self-denial renunciation of your own interests in favor of the interests of others
    • n self-denial the act of denying yourself; controlling your impulses
    • n self-denial the trait of practicing self discipline
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Self-denial The denial of one's self; forbearing to gratify one's own desires; self-sacrifice.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n self-denial The act of denying one's own wishes, or refusing to satisfy one's own desires, especially from a moral, religious, or altruistic motive; the forbearing to gratify one's own appetites or desires.
    • n self-denial Synonyms Self-denial, Self-sacrifice, Austerity, Asceticism, self-abnegation, self-forgetfulness. The italicized words agree in representing the voluntary refusal or surrender of personal comfort or desires. Self-denial is to be presumed wise, necessary, or benevolent, unless indication is given to the contrary, it may be the denial of selfishness; it may be not only the refusal to take what one might have, but the voluntary surrender of what one has; it may be an act, a habit, or a principle. Self-sacrifice goes beyond self-denial in necessarily including the idea of surrender, as of comfort, inclination, time, health, while being also presumably in the line of a real duty. The definition of austerity is implied in that of austere in the comparison under austere; it stands just at the edge of that frame of mind which regards self-denial as good for its own sake; it pushes simplicity of living and the refusal of pleasure beyond what is deemed necessary or helpful to right living by the great mass of those who are equally earnest with the austere in trying to live rightly. Asceticism goes beyond austerity, being more manifestly excessive and more clearly delighting in self-mortification as a good in itself; it also generally includes somewhat of the disposition to retire from the world. See austere.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Self-denial the denial of one's self: the non-gratifying of one's own appetites or desires
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  • Oscar Wilde
    “Self-denial is the shining sore on the leprous body of Christianity.”
  • Lord Chesterfield
    “Good breeding is the result of good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others.”
  • John Sterling
    John Sterling
    “The worst education which teaches self-denial, is better than the best which teaches everything else, and not that.”
  • Sir Walter Scott
    “There never will exist anything permanently noble and excellent in the character which is a stranger to resolute self-denial.”
  • Vince Lombardi
    “Football is like life -- it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.”
  • John Morely
    John Morely
    “Many people think of knowledge as money, They would like knowledge, but do not want to face the perseverance and self-denial that goes into the acquisition of it.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. self, seolf, sylf; Dut. zelf, Ger. selbe, Goth. silba.


In literature:

She could not afford it, she said, and that was always her excuse for the self-denials she practiced.
"Bessie's Fortune" by Mary J. Holmes
Who has not experienced this, and felt himself to be a very hero of self-denial in the circumstances?
"Blown to Bits" by Robert Michael Ballantyne
And Narayana was gratified at that act of self-denial on the part of Garuda.
"The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1"
Generosity is a nobler quality, and one that can have no real existence without economy and self-denial.
"The Young Lady's Mentor" by A Lady
Would your loyalty and your dear self-denial continue to help me when they only make me love you more intensely?
"The Firing Line" by Robert W. Chambers
They were prepared to live on herbs, even to eat grass, and to undertake any labour of self-denial.
"Little Essays of Love and Virtue" by Havelock Ellis
Self-denial in all things began from the first.
"Memories" by Fannie A. (Mrs.) Beers
The triumph of self-denial was complete.
"The Texan Star" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Well, we cannot coerce him into a life of sanctity and self-denial.
"The Lost Lady of Lone" by E.D.E.N. Southworth
Must service spring from the bitter dregs of self-denial?
"Kenny" by Leona Dalrymple

In poetry:

And she is with thee; in thy path of trial
She walketh yet;
Still with the baptism of thy self-denial
Her locks are wet.
"To My Friend OnThe Death Of His Sister" by John Greenleaf Whittier
It's weel enuff for fowk to praich
An praise up self denial;
But them 'at's forradest to praich,
Dooant put it oft to trial.
"My Doctrine" by John Hartley
He liked the kingdom when obtain'd,
But not the terms on which 'twas gain'd:
He hated pain and self-denial,
Chose the reward, but shunn'd the trial.
"The Foolish Traveller; Or, A Good Inn Is A Bad Home" by Hannah More
Troubles, cares, and self-denials,
These are no such special vials
Pour'd on fields and flowers;
But there always must be trials
In this world of ours.
"Country Life" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
Perhaps you really wished to come,
But now you are so far from home
Repent the trial.
What! did you leave celestial bliss
To bless us with a daughter's kiss?
What self-denial!
"To A New-Born Child" by William Cosmo Monkhouse
If her request his ears should greet,
He finds denial vastly sweet:
For self-importance would be wanted,
Were her solicitations granted.
For power and beauty, and your shoes,
Are not to lie by, but to use.
"Reconciliation" by William Hutton

In news:

Are the new ascetics masters of self-denial or just self-promotion.
Almost all amateur psychologists will tell you that as a coping mechanism, denial is both counter productive and self destructive.
it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.
F ebruary, being the shortest month, is the perfect one for a circumscribed term of psychic renewal via self-denial.
Self-denial doesn't require a scoreboard.
Self-denial is key to keeping a handle on selfishness.
The season of Lent is upon us--the time of year when Christians around the world prepare for Easter through prayer, charity, and self-denial.
"I don't want to give you lessons in self-denial and social responsibility," an art dealer tells her billionaire boy client in Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis, by way of refusing to entertain his demand to buy the Rothko Chapel.