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abstain

[ ab-steyn ]
/ æbˈsteɪn /
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See synonyms for: abstain / abstaining on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
to hold oneself back voluntarily, especially from something regarded as improper or unhealthy (usually followed by from): to abstain from eating meat.
to refrain from casting one's vote: a referendum in which two delegates abstained.
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Origin of abstain

1350–1400; Middle English abste(i)nen<Middle French abstenir ≪ Latin abstinēre, equivalent to abs-abs- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold, keep

OTHER WORDS FROM abstain

non·ab·stain·ing, adjectiveo·ver·ab·stain, verb (used without object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use abstain in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for abstain

abstain
/ (əbˈsteɪn) /

verb (intr usually foll by from)
to choose to refrainhe abstained from alcohol
to refrain from voting, esp in a committee, legislature, etc

Derived forms of abstain

abstainer, noun

Word Origin for abstain

C14: via Old French from Latin abstinēre, from abs- ab- 1 + tenēre to hold, keep
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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