To refrain from something by one's own choice: abstain from traditional political rhetoric. See Synonyms at refrain1.
To refrain from voting: Forty senators voted in favor of the bill, 45 voted against it, and 15 abstained.
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.