Definition of “refrain” - English Dictionary

“refrain” in English

See all translations

(Definition of “refrain” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“refrain” in American English

See all translations

refrainverb [ I ]

us /rɪˈfreɪn/

refrain verb [ I ] (NOT DO)

to not let yourself do something:

Please refrain from talking during the lecture.

refrainnoun [ C ]

us /rɪˈfreɪn/

refrain noun [ C ] (SONG)

a short part of a song or poem that is repeated, esp. at the end of each longer part, or any phrase that is often repeated:

Every year we hear the same refrain, that women are making great strides in business.

(Definition of “refrain” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.

refrain

One might also offer during such discussions to refrain from mentioning the matter if it is cleared up by the time the next report is published.
There are arguments in favour of both approaches, and we would be wise to refrain from saying that there should be only one way to do it.
To refrain from forming views before the employment ministers do so would mean handing over to them the sole right to decide.
I would also like to express my concern at the alleged use of cluster munitions and call on both countries to refrain from using such munitions.
Furthermore, we need to ensure that consumers have enough confidence in the regulatory framework so that they do not refrain from purchasing timeshare abroad from legitimate traders.
I would ask that, in future, you refrain from always taking the duration of a speech as an example - the quality, by all means.
The constant refrain that economic and social success can only be achieved by carrying out structural reforms is looking increasingly like empty rhetoric.
To do as others do and sit on the sidelines or refrain from doing anything cannot be considered as a contribution to the creation of equitable conditions.
If we are to recognise and extend the rights of animals we must stop causing them unnecessary suffering and refrain from cruelty.
In this domain, as in many others, let us refrain from an excess of zeal, the better being the enemy of the good.