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abstain
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Moby Dick
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abstain
Used In
Moby Dick
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unspecified meaning
  • Some considering touch of humanity was in him; for at times like these, he usually abstained from patrolling the quarter-deck; because to his wearied mates, seeking repose within six inches of his ivory heel, such would have been the reverberating crack and din of that bony step, that their dreams would have been on the crunching teeth of sharks.

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: 12 votes yes and 3 abstained Define
to formally not vote either "yes" or "no" (so that other voters will make the decision)
as in: abstained from alcohol Define
choose not to do something
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