Definitions for abstainæbˈsteɪn

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word abstain

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. to refrain voluntarily, esp. from something regarded as improper or unhealthy (usu. fol. by from):

    to abstain from eating meat.

  2. to refrain from casting one's vote:

    Two delegates abstained.

    Category: Government

Origin of abstain:

1350–1400; ME < MF abstenir蠐 L abstinēre=abs-abs - +-tinēre, comb. form of tenēre to hold, keep


Princeton's WordNet

  1. abstain(verb)

    refrain from voting

  2. abstain, refrain, desist(verb)

    choose not to consume

    "I abstain from alcohol"


  1. abstain(Verb)

    Refrain from (something); hold one's self aloof; to forbear or keep from doing, especially an indulgence of the passions or appetites; -- with from.

  2. abstain(Verb)

    To shun voluntarily.

  3. abstain(Verb)

    Deliberately refrain from casting one's vote at a meeting where one is present.

  4. abstain(Verb)

    Hinder; withhold.

  5. Origin: * First attested around 1380.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Abstain(verb)

    to hold one's self aloof; to forbear or refrain voluntarily, and especially from an indulgence of the passions or appetites; -- with from

  2. Abstain(verb)

    to hinder; to withhold

Anagrams of abstain

  1. Bastian

Translations for abstain

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


(often with from ) not to do, take etc

He abstained (from voting in the election); He abstained from alcohol.

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