- an act or instance of abstaining.
- withholding of a vote.
Origin of abstention
Examples from the Web for abstention
Israel's ambassador to Germany, Yakov Hadas-Handelsmann, expressed his surprise about Germany's U.N. abstention.Israel And Germany's Not-So-Special Relationship
December 5, 2012
In this circumstance, an abstention was unfavorable to Israel.The Vote And The Holocaust
Edward S. Goldstein
November 30, 2012
The total number of voters in Venezuela is 18 million, and 25 percent abstention is expected.Could Hugo Chávez Really Lose Venezuela’s Election?
October 6, 2012
Coined the 'Janopause' by the Daily Mail, it requires just one month of abstention.The 'Janopause' Detox Debate
January 9, 2012
A second diplomat told the Daily Beast that a Chinese abstention may be "inevitable."Punishing the Mullahs
February 10, 2010
The week's end found him a little further in debt, in spite of abstention.Despair's Last Journey
David Christie Murray
Then your whole service has been abstention from positive treachery for your own ends?The False Chevalier
William Douw Lighthall
Their abstention was not noticed by their fellows in the excitement of the time.The Duke's Motto
Justin Huntly McCarthy
Why should we try to make it appear that abstention from lying is a virtue?The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Political liberty, however, has not only a meaning of abstention, but a meaning of participation.Voltaire
- a voluntary decision not to act; the act of refraining or abstaining
- the act of withholding one's vote
Word Origin and History for abstention
1520s, from Middle French abstention (Old French astencion), from Late Latin abstentionem (nominative abstentio) "the act of retaining," noun of action from past participle stem of abstinere (see abstain).