Definitions for refrainrɪˈfreɪn

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

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. to keep oneself from doing or saying something (often fol. by from).

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  2. (v.t.)Archaic. to curb.

Origin of refrain:

1300–50; ME refreinen < OF refrener < L refrēnāre to rein in, restrain =re-re - +-frēnāre, v. der. of frēnum bridle



  1. a phrase or verse recurring at intervals in a song or poem, esp. at the end of each stanza; chorus.

  2. a musical setting for a poetic refrain. melody; tune. the recurrent section of a rondo.

    Category: Music and Dance

Origin of refrain:

1325–75; ME refreyne < OF refrain, n. der. of refraindre to break sequence < VL *refrangere, for L refringere to break back

Princeton's WordNet

  1. refrain, chorus(verb)

    the part of a song where a soloist is joined by a group of singers

  2. refrain, forbear(verb)

    resist doing something

    "He refrained from hitting him back"; "she could not forbear weeping"

  3. abstain, refrain, desist(verb)

    choose not to consume

    "I abstain from alcohol"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. refrain(verb)ɪˈfreɪn

    to stop yourself from doing sth

    Please refrain from smoking during the flight.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Refrain(verb)

    to hold back; to restrain; to keep within prescribed bounds; to curb; to govern

  2. Refrain(verb)

    to abstain from

  3. Refrain(verb)

    to keep one's self from action or interference; to hold aloof; to forbear; to abstain

  4. Refrain

    the burden of a song; a phrase or verse which recurs at the end of each of the separate stanzas or divisions of a poetic composition


  1. Refrain

    A refrain from Vulgar Latin refringere, "to repeat", and later from Old French refraindre) is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse; the "chorus" of a song. Poetic fixed forms that feature refrains include the villanelle, the virelay, and the sestina. The use of refrains is particularly associated with where the verse-chorus-verse song structure typically places a refrain in almost every song. The refrain or chorus often sharply contrasts the verse melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically, and assumes a higher level of dynamics and activity, often with added instrumentation. Chorus form, or strophic form, is a sectional and/or additive way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition of one formal section or block played repeatedly. See also verse-chorus form.

Anagrams of refrain

  1. Ferrian

Translations for refrain

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a line of words or music repeated regularly in a song, especially at the end of or after each verse; a chorus.

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