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English definition of “abstain”

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abstain

verb [I] uk   /æbˈsteɪn/ us  

abstain verb [I] (NOT DO)

to not do something, especially something enjoyable that you think might be bad: He took a vow to abstain from alcohol/smoking/sex.

abstain verb [I] (NOT VOTE)

to decide not to use your vote: 63 members voted in favour, 39 opposed, and 15 abstained.

abstain verb [I] (STAY AWAY)

Indian English to stay away from work: During a recent general strike, employees of all major trade unions abstained.
abstainer
noun [C] uk   /æbˈsteɪ.nər/ us    /-nɚ/
(Definition of abstain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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