A word much used in medieval times, meaning a failure of will to control fleshly passions. It is stronger than synonyms such as 'intemperance', being deemed a sin for which one would be punished. Dante placed the incontinent in an upper part of the *Inferno, it being less serious than deliberate wickedness. -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .


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  • incontinence — [ ɛ̃kɔ̃tinɑ̃s ] n. f. • XIIe; lat. incontinentia 1 ♦ Vx ou littér. Défaut de continence; activité sexuelle pratiquée en dépit des interdits et considérée comme coupable (notion chrétienne). ⇒ débauche, luxure. 2 ♦ (1584) Méd. Absence de contrôle… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Incontinence — is used in Medicine and Philosophy.MedicineIncontinence is the lack of voluntary control of excretory functions; the term is a contraction of a complete expression, such as incontinence of urine or incontinence of feces . Incontinence mostly… …   Wikipedia

  • Incontinence — In*con ti*nence, Incontinency In*con ti*nen*cy, n. [L. incontinentia: cf. F. incontinence.] [1913 Webster] 1. Incapacity to hold; hence, incapacity to hold back or restrain; the quality or state of being incontinent; lack of continence; failure… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • incontinence — (n.) late 14c., inability to restrain sexual desire, sexual immorality, later inability to keep to a religious rule (early 15c.), from O.Fr. incontinence lack of abstinence, unchastity (12c.) or directly from L. incontinentia greediness;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • incontinence — Incontinence. s. f. v. Vice opposé à la vertu de continence. Son incontinence fut cause de sa perte. il a ruiné sa santé par son incontinence …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • incontinence — index debauchery, greed, vice Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • incontinence — Incontinence, Incontinentia …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Incontinence — Inability to control excretions. Urinary incontinence is inability to keep urine in the bladder. Fecal incontinence is inability to retain feces in the rectum. * * * 1. Inability to prevent the discharge of any of the excretions, especially of… …   Medical dictionary

  • incontinence — n. 1) (urinary incontinence) the inappropriate involuntary passage of urine, resulting in wetting. Stress incontinence is the loss of urine on exertion (e.g. coughing and straining). It is common in women in whom the muscles of the pelvic floor… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • incontinence — (in kon ti nan s ) s. f. 1°   Incapacité de retenir ; sens propre qui n est conservé qu en médecine : écoulement ou émission d une matière excrémentitielle, liquide ou solide, malgré la volonté ou sans qu on s en aperçoive. Incontinence d urine.… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • INCONTINENCE — n. f. Difficulté de se contenir, particulièrement dans l’ordre de la chasteté. être adonné à l’incontinence. Son incontinence fut cause de sa perte. Il a ruiné sa santé par son incontinence. Par extension, Incontinence de parole. Spécialement, en …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

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