Meaning of abstain

ab•stain

Pronunciation: (ab-stān'), [key]
— v.i.
  1. to hold oneself back voluntarily, esp. from something regarded as improper or unhealthy (usually fol. by from): to abstain from eating meat.
  2. to refrain from casting one's vote: a referendum in which two delegates abstained.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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