Fast. n.s. [from the verb.]
- Abstinence from food.
A thousand men have broke their fasts today,
That ne'er shall dine, unless thou yield the crown. Shakes.
Where will this end? Four times ten days I've pass'd,
Wand'ring this woody maze, and human food
Nor tasted, nor had appetite; that fast
To virtue I impute not, or count part
Of what I suffer here. Milton's Paradise Lost, b. ii.
Happy and innocent were the ages of our fore-fathers, who broke their fasts with herbs and roots; and when they were permitted flesh, eat it only dressed with hunger and fire. Taylor.
She's gone unkindly, and refus'd to cast
One glance to feed me for so long a fast. Dryd. Tyran. Love.
- Religious mortification by abstinence; religious humiliation.
We humble ourselves before God this day, not merely by the outward solemnities of a fast, but with afflicting our souls as well as bodies for our sins. Atterbury's Sermons.
Nor pray'rs nor fasts its stubborn pulse restrain;
Nor tears, for ages, taught to flow in vain. Pope.