abstain

[ ab-steyn ]
/ æbˈsteɪn /

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.

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
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decorum

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. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for abstaining

British Dictionary definitions for abstaining

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