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ab·stain / abˈstān/ • v. [intr.] 1. restrain oneself from doing or enjoying something. ∎  refrain from drinking alcohol: most pregnant women abstain or drink very little. 2. formally decline to vote either for or against a proposal or motion. DERIVATIVES: ab·stain·er n.

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abstain XIV. ME. abste(i)nen, repr. tonic stem of (O)F. abstenir — L. abstinēre, f. ABS- + tenēre hold, keep.
So abstention XVI.

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