Continence refers to self control. It’s the ability to hold it all in.

The word continence come from the Latin continentia which means "a holding back.” It hasn’t changed much — continence means holding back bodily functions. It’s often used in the negative, incontinence, which describes a situation you get into with babies or sick people, where they can’t control their bowels. In another sense, continence is a little like abstinence, but while abstinence is refraining from sex, usually for a religious reason, continence refers to the ability to do so.

Definitions of continence
  1. noun
    voluntary control over urinary and fecal discharge
    see moresee less
    type of:
    control, restraint
    discipline in personal and social activities
  2. noun
    the exercise of self constraint in sexual matters
    synonyms: continency
    see moresee less
    type of:
    self-denial, self-discipline
    the trait of practicing self discipline
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week