ascetic \eh-SE-tik\ (noun) - Someone who, for spiritual reasons, rejects material comforts in favor of an austere life of abstinence and self-denial, usually as a hermit.
"Genius is always ascetic; and piety and love. Appetite shows to the finer souls as a disease." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, from the first sermon of his essays
Greek asketikos "ascetic, laborious" from Greek askets "hermit, monk" from askein "to exercise, work." No one seems to know where the Greek word originates. Today's word is actually an adjective, meaning "austere, abstinent," used as a noun. The abstract noun is "asceticism," referring to the life of an ascetic.Today's word is not to be confused with "aesthetic," which refers to the study or appreciation of that which is beautiful.