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English definition of “abstention”

abstention

noun uk   /æbˈsten.ʃən/ us  

abstention noun (NOT VOTING)

[C or U] the fact of not voting in favour of or against someone or something: There were high levels of abstention (from voting) in the last elections. There were ten votes in favour, six against, and three abstentions.

abstention noun (NOT DOING)

[U] formal not doing something, such as drinking alcohol or having sex: Abstention from alcohol is essential while you are taking this medication.
(Definition of abstention from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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