Jewish ASCETIC bound by a VOW. He is prohibited from drinking wine, cutting his hair and contracting impurity through contact with the dead (Numb. 6:2). The vow was normally taken for a limited period, but it could also be for life (as in the case of Samuel and Samson). Taking the Nazirite vow was common in biblical times, but the practice eventually disappeared.   

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Reprinted with permission from A Concise Encyclopedia of Judaism,
by Dan Cohn-Sherbok. Oneworld Publications