Adjective "teetotal" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Choosing or characterized by abstinence from alcohol.
  1. 'In the West Midlands, 78% were willing to stop drinking, reduce their alcohol intake or were teetotal already compared to 66% in the capital.'
  2. 'The Temperance Society, an organisation in which people pledged to be teetotal, was first established in 1832.'
  3. 'Gerry was teetotal, but we had a fantastic time.'
  4. 'In the 1830s, a third movement, the teetotal movement, emerged and radicalized temperance reform in two ways.'
  5. 'Yes, he was an active participant on that evening but, while he was only too happy to dish out the vodka, he remained teetotal and disappeared to bed at a respectable hour so he was fit and able for practice the following morning.'
  6. 'He never drank alcohol, and he had strong teetotal convictions.'
  7. 'The alcohol ban is a strain on my mum, she likes a bit of a drink, but my dad's teetotal.'
  8. 'Thankfully, I'm quite happy to stay teetotal for the duration.'
  9. 'And I hadn't fully realised how odd I'd feel, an omnivore who likes a drink dropped into a city populated largely by teetotal vegetarians.'
  10. 'Mild-mannered, teetotal, often other-worldly, he was unswerving in his work for a party notable then for its lack of success.'


1. of or relating to, advocating, or pledged to total abstinence from intoxicating drink.

2. Informal. absolute; complete. verb (used without object), teetotaled, teetotaling or (especially British) teetotalled, teetotalling.

3. to practice teetotalism.

More examples(as adjective)

"people can be teetotal in/at/on weekends."

"people can be teetotal for rests."

"guys can be teetotal from backs."

"backbones can be teetotal in sympathies."

"people can be teetotal."

More examples++


Mid 19th century: emphatic extension of total, apparently first used by Richard Turner, a worker from Preston, in a speech (1833) urging total abstinence from all alcohol, rather than mere abstinence from spirits, advocated by some early temperance reformers.