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refrain
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War and Peace
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refrain
Used In
War and Peace
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unspecified meaning
  • One hand moved as if to clutch the window sill, but refrained from touching it.
  • She drew her wool down through the canvas and, scarcely able to refrain from laughing, stooped as if trying to make out the pattern.

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  • Even if Anna Pavlovna did not say so, he could see that she wished to and only refrained out of regard for his modesty.
  • She could not refrain from weeping at these words.
  • On the way home, Prince Andrew could not refrain from asking Kutuzov, who was sitting silently beside him, what he thought of tomorrow’s battle.
  • Prince Andrew felt as if the sound of the waves kept up a refrain to Pierre’s words, whispering: "It is true, believe it."
  • He listened, refraining from a reply, and involuntarily wondered how this old man, living alone in the country for so many years, could know and discuss so minutely and acutely all the recent European military and political events.
  • The "man of great merit," despite his desire to obtain the post of director, could not refrain from reminding Prince Vasili of his former opinion.
  • He could apparently not refrain from expressing the thoughts that had suddenly occurred to him.
  • To Princess Mary it was strange that now, at a moment when such sorrow was filling her soul, there could be rich people and poor, and the rich could refrain from helping the poor.

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  • Seeing his gloomy face as he frowned at his wife, the officers grew still merrier, and some of them could not refrain from laughter, for which they hurriedly sought plausible pretexts.
  • The old valet Tikhon, with sunken, emaciated face that bore the stamp of inconsolable grief, replied: "Yes, Princess" to all Princess Mary’s questions and hardly refrained from sobbing as he looked at her.
  • And she ran out of the room, with difficulty refraining from tears of vexation and irritation rather than of sorrow.
  • Though she blamed herself for it, she could not refrain from grumbling at and worrying Sonya, often pulling her up without reason, addressing her stiffly as "my dear," and using the formal "you" instead of the intimate "thou" in speaking to her.
  • The adjutant, also, had evidently had no evil intent though he might have refrained from coming in.
  • He looked at her without moving and saw that she wanted to draw a deep breath after stooping, but refrained from doing so and breathed cautiously.
  • Petya badly wanted to laugh, but noticed that they all refrained from laughing.
  • She knew her remarks sounded unnatural, but could not refrain from asking some more questions.
  • He understands that there is something stronger and more important than his own will—the inevitable course of events, and he can see them and grasp their significance, and seeing that significance can refrain from meddling and renounce his personal wish directed to something else.
  • Countess Mary looked round, saw little Andrew following her, felt that Sonya was right, and for that very reason flushed and with evident difficulty refrained from saying something harsh.
  • Time has gone by which I could not detain, the arm I then lifted is no longer the same as the arm I now refrain from lifting, nor is the air in which I lifted it the same that now surrounds me.
  • They looked at one another (now that the hunt was over and they were in the house, Nicholas no longer considered it necessary to show his manly superiority over his sister), Natasha gave him a wink, and neither refrained long from bursting into a peal of ringing laughter even before they had a pretext ready to account for it.
  • Though he did not want to remind the Rostovs of Bolkonski, Pierre could not refrain from making them happy by the news of their son’s having received a decoration, so he sent that printed army order and Nicholas’ letter to the Rostovs, keeping the appeal, the bulletin, and the other orders to take with him when he went to dinner.
  • CHAPTER I. Napoleon began the war with Russia because he could not resist going to Dresden, could not help having his head turned by the homage he received, could not help donning a Polish uniform and yielding to the stimulating influence of a June morning, and could not refrain from bursts of anger in the presence of Kurakin and then of Balashev.
  • The armies were divided, there was no unity of command, and Barclay was unpopular; but from this confusion, division, and the unpopularity of the foreign commander in chief, there resulted on the one hand indecision and the avoidance of a battle (which we could not have refrained from had the armies been united and had someone else, instead of Barclay, been in command) and on the other an ever-increasing indignation against the foreigners and an increase in patriotic zeal.
  • "As it flies past me, Daddy, the ball I mean," said a young soldier with an enormous mouth, hardly refraining from laughing, "I felt like dying of fright.
  • We missed one another," he said, and could not refrain from asking what was the matter, so strangely dismal and troubled was Rostov’s face.
  • Ought I to put it right?" she asked herself, and she could not refrain from turning round.

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: a repeated refrain Define
something repeated regularly -- especially:
  • lines repeated after each verse of a song
  • a phrase or idea often repeated by someone or within a poem

as in: refrain from laughing Define
avoid or resist doing something
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