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Can the word 'celibate' be used for women too? Is there any 'ing' form of 'celibate'? Can we also say,"She has become/turned celibate"?

  • OED do actually have an entry for celibate as a verb usage (to restrain from marriage, compel to celibacy). But the only citation is from 1659, and they say it's a "nonce-word" anyway. Most instances of celibating today are likely to either be mispronunciations of celebrating, or (either ignorant or facetious) alternatives to celibacy. – FumbleFingers Aug 30 '14 at 17:53
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The word celibate can be used for a woman too.

The Huff Post Entertainment has the headline

Lady Gaga Explains Why She's Celibate

I could not find celibating from any authentic source including COCAE.

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Celibacy, that is, "celibateness" cannot be acquired or "turned." Like "viriginity," it is the natural state, but once lost, it is forever lost.

  • So, what are the collocations with the word 'celebate'? – asterisk Aug 30 '14 at 19:52
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    Can you provide a citation or other reference for this? The dictionary I consulted simply defines celibate as "abstaining from marriage and sexual relations"; it makes no mention that the abstinence has to have been lifelong. The definitions given for virgin, by contrast, do make that point. – Nate Eldredge Aug 31 '14 at 19:08

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