Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

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)
What is the pronunciation of refrain?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “refrain” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

give the green light to sth

to give permission for someone to do something or for something to happen

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More