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Definition of "abstain" [ab•stain]

  • 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.

Use "abstain" in a sentence
  • "I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:"
  • "The tone of the post abovee will make me abstain from the chicken from now on but I'm going to indulge in Tyler's magical cheese elixir once the paleo thing is done."
  • "If I lived in Louisiana, I would abstain from the Senate race."