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used in a sentence
2 meanings
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1  —as in:
12 votes yes and 3 abstained
Definition to formally not vote either "yes" or "no" (so that other voters will make the decision)
  • She abstained from the vote because her sister was bidding for the job.
abstained = formally did not vote either "yes" or "no" (so that other voters made the decision)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • "All in favor?"
    To my surprise, a lot of hands went up. Dionysus abstained.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Titan's Curse
  • abstained = did not vote
  • I'll abstain.
    Reginald Rose  --  Twelve Angry Men
abstain = formally not vote either "yes" or "no" (so that other voters will make the decision)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
2  —as in:
abstained from alcohol
Definition choose not to do something
  • I abstain from alcohol
abstain = keep away (choose not to do something)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • He promised to abstain from smoking, chewing, and profanity as long as he remained a member.
    Twain, Mark  --  Tom Sawyer
  • Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.
    George Eliot
  • Satisfied that the cause was now on a footing the most proper and hopeful, Sir Thomas resolved to abstain from all farther importunity with his niece, and to shew no open interference.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • abstain = choose not to do something
  • I believe that every man who has ever been earnest to preserve his higher or poetic faculties in the best condition has been particularly inclined to abstain from animal food, and from much food of any kind....
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • abstain = not eat
  • He was a total abstainer and a nonsmoker, had no recreations except a daily hour in the gymnasium, and had taken a vow of celibacy, believing marriage and the care of a family to be incompatible with a twenty-four-hour-a-day devotion to duty.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • abstainer = non-drinker (of alcohol)
  • I had been accustomed, during the night, to steal a part of their store for my own consumption, but when I found that in doing this I inflicted pain on the cottagers, I abstained and satisfied myself with berries, nuts, and roots which I gathered from a neighbouring wood.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • abstained = chose not to do that
  • abstain from sex until I marry.
    Melody Carlson  --  Becoming Me
  • abstain = choose to refrain (not engage in)
  • John had recommended that she abstain from such foods as root and leafy vegetables, and that she perform some active physical labor.
    Laura Esquivel  --  Like Water for Chocolate
  • abstain = not eat
  • Better to abstain from the gardens of delectable delights than to be stuck planting them, dawn to dusk.
    Julia Alvarez  --  In the Time of the Butterflies
abstain = keep away

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
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