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abstain - definition and synonyms

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verb [intransitive]     abstain pronunciation in American English
/əbˈsteɪn/
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theyabstain
he/she/itabstains
present participleabstaining
past tenseabstained
past participleabstained
  1. 1
    to deliberately avoid doing something that is enjoyable but that may not be healthy, safe, or morally right
    abstain from:

    A high percentage of women said they had abstained from alcohol during pregnancy.

    1. a.
      formal to not do something that is likely to cause serious problems
      abstain from:

      They agreed to abstain from any actions that might endanger the peace process.

  2. 2
    to deliberately not vote in an election or at a meeting

derived word

abstainer

noun [countable]
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singularabstainer
pluralabstainers
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