ab·stain (ăb-stān, əb-)
intr.v. ab·stained, ab·stain·ing, ab·stains
1. To keep oneself from doing, engaging in, or partaking of something; refrain: abstain from partisan political rhetoric; abstain from drinking alcohol.
2. To refrain from voting: Forty senators voted in favor of the bill, 45 voted against it, and 15 abstained.
[Middle English absteinen, to avoid, from Old French abstenir, from Latin abstinēre, to hold back : abs-, ab-, away; see AB-1 + tenēre, to hold; see ten- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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