Abstain Ab*stain", v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Abstained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Abstaining}.] [OE. absteynen, abstenen, OF. astenir, abstenir, F. abstenir, fr. L. abstinere, abstentum, v. t. & v. i., to keep from; ab, abs + tenere to hold. See {Tenable}.] To hold one's self aloof; to forbear or refrain voluntarily, and especially from an indulgence of the passions or appetites; -- with from. [1913 Webster]

Not a few abstained from voting. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

Who abstains from meat that is not gaunt? --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To refrain; forbear; withhold; deny one's self; give up; relinquish. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • abstain — ab·stain /əb stān, ab / vi: to refrain from exercising federal jurisdiction over a case: cause an abstention Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. abstain …   Law dictionary

  • Abstain — Ab*stain , v. t. To hinder; to withhold. [1913 Webster] Whether he abstain men from marrying. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abstain — (v.) late 14c., to withhold oneself, from O.Fr. abstenir (14c.), earlier astenir (13c.) hold (oneself) back, refrain, abstain (from), practice abstinence, from L. abstinere withhold, keep back, keep off, from ab(s) from, away from (see AB (Cf. ab …   Etymology dictionary

  • abstain — [ab stān′, əbstān′] vi. [ME absteinen < OFr abstenir < L abstinere, to hold back < ab(s) , from + tenere, to hold: see TENANT] to hold oneself back; voluntarily do without; refrain (from) [to abstain from smoking] SYN. REFRAIN1 abstainer …   English World dictionary

  • abstain — *refrain, forbear Analogous words: *forgo, eschew, abnegate: *decline, refuse, spurn, reject: desist (see STOP) Antonyms: indulge Contrasted words: pamper (see INDULGE): *satiate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • abstain — [v] hold back from doing abjure, abnegate, avoid, cease, constrain, curb, decline, deny oneself, do without, eschew, evade, fast, fence sit*, forbear, forgo, give the go by*, give up, go on the wagon*, keep from, pass, pass up, quit, refrain,… …   New thesaurus

  • abstain — ► VERB 1) restrain oneself from doing or indulging in something. 2) formally choose not to vote. DERIVATIVES abstainer noun. ORIGIN Latin abstinere hold from …   English terms dictionary

  • abstain — UK [əbˈsteɪn] / US verb [intransitive] Word forms abstain : present tense I/you/we/they abstain he/she/it abstains present participle abstaining past tense abstained past participle abstained 1) a) to deliberately avoid doing something that is… …   English dictionary

  • abstain — v. (D; intr.) to abstain from (to abstain from alcohol) * * * [əb steɪn] (D; intr.) to abstain from (to abstain from alcohol) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • abstain — [[t]æbste͟ɪn[/t]] abstains, abstaining, abstained 1) VERB If you abstain from something, usually something you want to do, you deliberately do not do it. [FORMAL] [V from n] Abstain from sex or use condoms... Do you drink alcohol, smoke, or… …   English dictionary

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