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1

refrain

play
verb re·frain \ri-ˈfrān\

Simple Definition of refrain

  • : to stop yourself from doing something that you want to do

Full Definition of refrain

archaic

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  curb, restrain

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to keep oneself from doing, feeling, or indulging in something and especially from following a passing impulse <refrained from having dessert>

re·frain·ment play \-mənt\ noun

Examples of refrain

  1. I was going to make a joke but I refrained.



Origin of refrain

Middle English refreynen, from Anglo-French refreiner, refreindre, from Latin refrenare, from re- + frenum bridle — more at frenum


First Known Use: 14th century


2

refrain

noun re·frain

Simple Definition of refrain

  • : a phrase or verse that is repeated regularly in a poem or song

  • : a comment or statement that is often repeated

Full Definition of refrain

  1. :  a regularly recurring phrase or verse especially at the end of each stanza or division of a poem or song :  chorus; also :  the musical setting of a refrain

Examples of refrain

  1. A common refrain among teachers these days is that the schools need more funding.

  2. <I didn't know the verses of the song, so I only sang on the refrain.>



Origin of refrain

Middle English refreyn, from Middle French refrain, alteration of Old French refrait melody, response, from past participle of refraindre to break up, moderate, from Vulgar Latin *refrangere, alteration of Latin refringere — more at refract


First Known Use: 14th century


REFRAIN Defined for Kids

1

refrain

play
verb re·frain \ri-ˈfrān\

Definition of refrain

re·frainedre·frain·ing

  1. :  to keep from giving in to a desire or impulse <I wanted to laugh but refrained.>




2

refrain

play
noun re·frain

Definition of refrain

  1. :  a phrase or verse repeated regularly in a poem or song





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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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