Dictionary

abstain

verb ab·stain \əb-ˈstān, ab-\

: to choose not to do or have something

: to choose not to vote

Full Definition of ABSTAIN

intransitive verb
:  to refrain deliberately and often with an effort of self-denial from an action or practice <abstain from drinking>
ab·stain·er noun

Examples of ABSTAIN

  1. Ten members voted for the proposal, six members voted against it, and two abstained.

Origin of ABSTAIN

Middle English absteinen, from Anglo-French asteign-, absteign-, stem of astenir, abstenir, from Latin abstinēre, from abs-, ab- + tenēre to hold — more at thin
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism

abstain

intransitive verb ab·stain \əb-ˈstān, ab-\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of ABSTAIN

:  to refrain deliberately and often with an effort of self-denial from an action or practice (as consumption of a food or a drug or indulgence in sexual intercourse)
ab·stain·er noun

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May 30, 2015
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