abstain


ab·stain

verb \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

ab·stain

intransitive verb \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

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: abstemious
Previous Word in the Dictionary: absque impetitione vasti
All Words Near: abstain

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up abstain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).