refrain

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re·frain1 / riˈfrān/ • v. [intr.] stop oneself from doing something: she refrained from comment. re·frain2 • n. a repeated line or number of lines in a poem or song, typically at the end of each verse. ∎  the musical accompaniment for such a line or number of lines. ∎  a comment or complaint that is often repeated: “Poor Tom” had become the constant refrain of his friends.

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refrain1 burden of a poem or song (recurring at intervals and so breaking the sequence). XIV. — (O)F. refrain, †refrein, succeeding to earlier refrait, -eit, sb. use of pp. of †refraindre break, etc.:- Rom. *refrangere, for L. refringere, f. RE- + frangere BREAK1.

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refrain2 †restrain; abstain. XIV. — (O)F. refréner — L. refrēnāre bridle, f. RE- + frēnum bridle.

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refrain. That part of a song which recurs at the end of each stanza. Refers to both words and mus. Corresponds to poetic ‘burden’. In popular 20th-cent. mus., ‘chorus’ is used as synonym.

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