refrain

1
[ ri-freyn ]
/ rɪˈfreɪn /

verb (used without object)

to abstain from an impulse to say or do something (often followed by from): I refrained from telling him what I thought.

verb (used with object)

Archaic. to curb.

Origin of refrain

1
1300–50; Middle English refreinen < Old French refrener < Latin refrēnāre to bridle, equivalent to re- re- + frēn(um) bridle + -āre infinitive suffix

OTHER WORDS FROM refrain

re·frain·er, nounre·frain·ment, nounun·re·frained, adjectiveun·re·frain·ing, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH refrain

refrain restrain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for refraining

British Dictionary definitions for refraining (1 of 2)

refrain1
/ (rɪˈfreɪn) /

verb

(intr usually foll by from) to abstain (from action); forbear

Derived forms of refrain

refrainer, nounrefrainment, noun

Word Origin for refrain

C14: from Latin refrēnāre to check with a bridle, from re- + frēnum a bridle

British Dictionary definitions for refraining (2 of 2)

refrain2
/ (rɪˈfreɪn) /

noun

a regularly recurring melody, such as the chorus of a song
a much repeated saying or idea

Word Origin for refrain

C14: via Old French, ultimately from Latin refringere to break into pieces
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

Cultural definitions for refraining

refrain

In some pieces of verse, a set of words repeated at the end of each stanza.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.