verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- refractory anemia,
- refractory period,
- refractory state,
Origin of refrain1
- a musical setting for the refrain of a poem.
- any melody.
- the principal, recurrent section of a rondo.
Origin of refrain2
Examples from the Web for refrain
However much we gossip about heterosexual couples with large age gaps, we at least refrain from calling them sex offenders.Freaking Out About Age Gaps in Gay Relationships Is Homophobic|Samantha Allen|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Or “you give us Keystone, and we may refrain from throwing the world financial markets into turmoil.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz wove a refrain into his speech that “morning is coming.”
I will refrain from going there—although, I must say, I am fighting a powerful gut feeling.Why the Right Thinks Obama’s a Narcissist—and Why They’re Wrong|John McWhorter|September 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It offered to refrain from new sanctions only if the Kremlin controlled the rebels.
At first, a love-song was the favourite sort, with a refrain of douce amie, and so on.Medieval English Literature|William Paton Ker
While ever careful to refrain from wronging others, we must be no less insistent that we are not wronged ourselves.The Art of Public Speaking|Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein
Also the sense of sacred trust placed in her hands made her refrain from any psychic probing.The Best Short Stories of 1920|Various
Even in his misery—for he was very miserable—he could not refrain from telling himself that.How to be Happy Though Married|E. J. Hardy.
He did look at it; found it simple enough; imagined that the refrain verse might be made rather effective.Prince Fortunatus|William Black
Word Origin for refrain
Word Origin for refrain
mid-14c., from Old French refraigner "restrain, repress, keep in check" (12c., Modern French Réfréner), from Latin refrenare "to bridle, hold in with a bit, check, curb, keep down, control," from re- "back" (see re-) + frenare "restrain, furnish with a bridle," from frenum "a bridle." Related: Refrained; refraining.
late 14c., from Old French refrain "chorus" (13c.), alteration of refrait, noun use of past participle of refraindre "repeat," also "break off," from Vulgar Latin *refrangere "break off," alteration of Latin refringere "break up, break open" (see refraction) by influence of frangere "to break." Influenced in French by cognate Provençal refranhar "singing of birds, refrain." The notion is of something that causes a song to "break off" then resume. OED says not common before 19c.