- an act or instance of abstaining.
- withholding of a vote.
Origin of abstention
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a voluntary decision not to act; the act of refraining or abstaining
- the act of withholding one's vote
C16: from Late Latin abstentiōn-, from Latin abstinēre. See abstain
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
Word Origin and History for abstentious
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).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper