What does abstention mean?

Definitions for abstentionæbˈstɛn ʃən

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word abstention.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. abstinence, abstention(noun)

    the trait of abstaining (especially from alcohol)


  1. abstention(Noun)

    The act of abstaining; a holding aloof

  2. Origin: * First attested in 1521.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Abstention(adj)

    the act of abstaining; a holding aloof

  2. Origin: [F. See Abstain.]


  1. Abstention

    Abstention is a term in election procedure for when a participant in a vote either does not go to vote or, in parliamentary procedure, is present during the vote, but does not cast a ballot. Abstention must be contrasted with "blank vote", in which a voter casts a ballot willfully made invalid by marking it wrongly or by not marking anything at all. A "blank voter" has voted, although his vote may be considered a spoilt vote, depending on each legislation, while an abstaining voter hasn't voted. Both forms may or may not, depending on the circumstances, be considered to be protest vote. An abstention may be used to indicate the voting individual's ambivalence about the measure, or mild disapproval that does not rise to the level of active opposition. Abstention can also be used when someone has a certain position about an issue, but since the popular sentiment supports the opposite, it might be not be politically expedient to vote according to his or her conscience. A person may also abstain when they do not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand, or has not participated in relevant discussion. In parliamentary procedure, a member may be required to abstain in the case of a real or perceived conflict of interest.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of abstention in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of abstention in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Luis Barria:

    With eight votes in favor and one abstention, we have decided to admit the case against justice Benavides.

  2. Alexis Tsipras ':

    Not one vote should be lost, we should not be beaten by abstention, an abstention is a victory for New Democracy.

  3. Even Sanchez:

    The Socialist party's adversary is not Podemos or the PP, our challenge is going to vote, our challenge is conquering abstention.

Images & Illustrations of abstention

  1. abstentionabstentionabstention

Translations for abstention

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for abstention »


Find a translation for the abstention definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these abstention definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"abstention." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 21 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/abstention>.

Are we missing a good definition for abstention? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for abstention:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.