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an act or instance of .
withholding of a vote.
a voluntary decision not to act; the act of refraining or abstaining
the act of withholding one’s vote

1520s, from Middle French abstention (Old French astencion), from Late Latin abstentionem (nominative abstentio) “the act of retaining,” noun of action from past participle stem of abstinere (see abstain).


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  • Abstinence

    forbearance from any indulgence of appetite, especially from the use of alcoholic beverages: total abstinence. any self-restraint, self-denial, or forbearance. Economics. the conserving of current income in order to build up capital or savings. the state of being without a drug, as alcohol or heroin, on which one is dependent. Contemporary Examples No, it is […]

  • Abstinence syndrome

    the withdrawal symptoms that occur after abstinence from a drug, especially a narcotic, to which one is addicted.

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