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English definition of “refrain”

refrain

verb [I] uk   /rɪˈfreɪn/ formal us  
C2 to avoid doing or stop yourself from doing something: We refrained from talking until we knew that it was safe. The sign on the wall said "Please refrain from smoking."

refrain

noun [C] uk   /rɪˈfreɪn/ us  
a short part of a song or poem that is repeated, especially between the verses (= the separate parts) a phrase that is often repeated: 'Every vote counts' is a familiar refrain in politics.
(Definition of refrain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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