- To refrain from something by one's own choice: abstain from traditional political rhetoric. See Synonyms at refrain1. (verb-intransitive)
- To refrain from voting: Forty senators voted in favor of the bill, 45 voted against it, and 15 abstained. (verb-intransitive)
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.