ab·stain [ab-steyn] (previously 02-26-13)
verb used without object
1. to hold oneself back voluntarily, especially from something regarded as improper or unhealthy (usually followed by from): to abstain from eating meat.
2. to refrain from casting one's vote: a referendum in which two delegates abstained.
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1. forbear; desist, cease.
Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English abste (i) nen < Middle French abstenir « Latin abstinere, equivalent to abs- abs- + -tinere, combining form of tenere to hold, keep
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