• WordNet 3.6
    • v abstain choose not to consume "I abstain from alcohol"
    • v abstain refrain from voting
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. t Abstain To hinder; to withhold. "Whether he abstain men from marrying."
    • v. i Abstain To hold one's self aloof; to forbear or refrain voluntarily, and especially from an indulgence of the passions or appetites; -- with from. "Not a few abstained from voting.""Who abstains from meat that is not gaunt?"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • abstain To forbear or refrain voluntarily, especially from what gratifies the passions or appetites: used with from: as, to abstain from the use of ardent spirits; to abstain from luxuries.
    • abstain To hinder; obstruct; debar; cause to keep away from: as, “abstain men from marrying,” Milton.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Abstain abs-tān′ to hold or refrain from
    • ***


  • Ambrose Bierce
    “Abstainer. A weak man who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.”
  • Epictetus
    “All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.”
  • Horace Greeley
    Horace Greeley
    “Abstaining is favorable both to the head and the pocket.”
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    “These people abstain, it is true: but the bitch Sensuality glares enviously out of all they do.”
  • Zoroaster
    “When you doubt, abstain.”
  • George Eliot
    “Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. absteynen, abstenen, OF. astenir, abstenir, F. abstenir, fr. L. abstinere, abstentum, v. t. & v. i., to keep from; ab, abs, + tenere, to hold. See Tenable
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. abstenir—L. abs, from, tenēre, to hold. See Tenable.


In literature:

I have purposely abstained from encumbering my narrative with legal details.
"The Dead Alive" by Wilkie Collins
Mrs. Gallilee so far recognises the apology and submission offered to her, as to abstain from taking immediate proceedings.
"Heart and Science" by Wilkie Collins
This outbreak Mr. Blyth had abstained from noticing, out of consideration for the agitated state of the speaker's feelings.
"Hide and Seek" by Wilkie Collins
In the fear of exercising even an indirect influence, we have purposely abstained from corresponding with you.
"The Fallen Leaves" by Wilkie Collins
He passed quite fifteen years in Washington, a total abstainer from the use of intoxicants.
"Marse Henry, Complete" by Henry Watterson
The Lower Ranizais, south of Malakand, abstained altogether.
"The Story of the Malakand Field Force" by Sir Winston S. Churchill
Brutus wept over their fate and abstained from further exactions.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 2" by Various
When he visited strangers he abstained from their customs, and even meats.
"Beacon Lights of History, Volume II" by John Lord
Abstain from wines, spirits, and animal food.
"Enquire Within Upon Everything" by Anonymous
They appeared to me like two farmers making arrangements to abstain from burning each other's hay-ricks.
"Essays in Rebellion" by Henry W. Nevinson
"The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love" by Emanuel Swedenborg
When he found how it was with him, he should have abstained.
"John Caldigate" by Anthony Trollope
The Prince objected to the phrase "unjust sentence," and Count Mosca, courtier-like, abstained from using it.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol VIII" by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.
And Matthew had been aware that it would be better that he should abstain from all questions.
"Mr. Scarborough's Family" by Anthony Trollope
He must abstain from many foods, such as eggs, birds of all sorts, mutton, dog, bush-buck, and so forth.
"Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I." by Sir James George Frazer
And, O Pandava, in the third month I totally abstained from food.
"The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2" by Translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
The patient must abstain from salt, acid and windy food.
"The Works of Aristotle the Famous Philosopher" by Anonymous
Antonyms: abstainer, ascetic, nephalist, teetotaler.
"Putnam's Word Book" by Louis A. Flemming
I believe I have as yet not stated that, in the intervals long or short between my sprees, I abstained totally from the use of ardent spirits.
"Fifteen Years in Hell" by Luther Benson
What can be more foolish than to abstain from what God has given for man's use?
"The Cross and the Shamrock" by Hugh Quigley

In poetry:

Of what offends a brother's eye,
Or gives another pain,
May we in love ourselves deny,
And from its use abstain.
"Prayer For Divine Blessing" by John Pierpont
Hot to-day, guv’nor; let’s go and have a liquor;
Lady take anything?—Bless you I can pay—
Haven’t had one yet, and nothing makes me sicker
Than abstaining altogether such a day.
"A Bush Study, A La Watteau" by Arthur Patchett Martin
My parents were sober living, and often did pray
For their family to abstain from intoxicating drink alway;
Because they knew it would lead them astray
Which no God fearing man will dare to gainsay.
"A New Temperance Poem, in Memory of My Departed Parents" by William Topaz McGonagall
He took care to abstain from employing his fist
On the old and the crippled, for they might resist;
A crippled old man may have pluck in his breast,
But the young and the strong ones are cowards confest.
"Old Paul and Old Tim" by William Schwenck Gilbert
"Till darkness by dawn be cloven,
Let youth's self mourn and abstain;
And love's self find not an hour,
And spring's self wear not a flower,
And Lycoris, with hair unenwoven,
Hail back to the banquet in vain.
"Mentana : First Anniversary" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
I'm sure very little good emanates from strong drink,
And many people, alas! it leads to hell's brink!
Some to the scaffold, and some to a pauper's grave,
Whereas if they would abstain from drink, Christ would them save.
"The Funeral of the Late Ex-Provost Rough, Dundee" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

Lawmakers belonging to Silvio Berlusconi's center-right party abstained Thursday from a confidence vote in the government of Premier Mario Monti, raising questions over its future and the progress of its economic reform program.
McLennan County Judge Scott Felton said he will seek a legal opinion on whether he must abstain from voting on a judicial appointment because he previously served as campaign treasurer for one of the applicants.
Bill Nye Slams Creationism , Asks Parents to Abstain From Teaching it to Kids (Video).
We at TNR have not abstained, yet our commentary was but a drop in the sea of coverage that the disastrous musical has occasioned.
For instance, a liquid fast , a rotation fast (eating food from only one food group at time), and a partial fast (limiting certain foods for a prolonged time or abstaining from all foods for a portion of the day).
Weymouth abstained from voting on the matter, citing a desire to vote on beach pass fees as a whole versus solely a charge for seniors.
Lawmakers belonging to Silvio Berlusconi's center-right party have abstained in a confidence vote in the government of Premier Mario Monti, raising questions over its future.
Germany said it would abstain in a vote on Thursday at the UN General Assembly on changing the Palestinian Authority's diplomatic status, citing fears that it could be counterproductive to the peace process.
She is among roughly half of Italians who surveys show are either undecided or will abstain in the elections.
For many people Ash Wednesday and Fridays during lent means abstaining from meat.
What happens when an abstainer, inspired by Islam and confirmed by palate, is accidentally served a daiquiri at a friend's wedding in India.
Trustee David King abstained from voting.
But at one high school school in Massachusetts, students are promising to abstain from something else entirely: tanning beds.
To meddle as little as possible in the telling, to abstain from picturesque details or personal conjectures is, it seems to me, the only way to do this.
More than 40 local UPS drivers pledged to abstain from texting while behind the wheel in support of our TXTING KILLS MONTANA-Arrive Alive Don't Text and Drive campaign.

In science:

We abstain from presenting here all the lengthy formulas that again need distinction between the three cases: (a) 0 < α < 1 , (b) 1 < α < 2 , and (c) α = 1 .
Discrete random walk models for space-time fractional diffusion
We however abstain from speculating on the relevance of this fact for our approach.
Gauge Theory in Riem(M)
Thus for full maximal Cartan actions of these groups, rigidity are abstained by using almost the same manners as in .
New Cases of Differential Rigidity for Non-Generic Partially Hyperbolic Actions
Public goods with punishment and abstaining in finite and infinite populations.
Strategy abundance in evolutionary many-player games with multiple strategies
With payouts DC (n) = exp(2n ) (game C) Bernoulli’s criterion iii recommends to abstain from the gamble for ticket prices P ≥ W . criterion ii recommends to abstain if paying the ticket price poses the risk of bankruptcy, i.e. if P ≥ W + exp(2).
Menger 1934 revisited
The discussion of Dirac quantization of Shape Dynamics in is formal, because we considered formal wave functions ψ [g ], but abstained from specifying a kinematic inner product for these.
Observable Equivalence between General Relativity and Shape Dynamics
In order to avoid cumbersome formulas, we abstained from writing down the details.
Moment asymptotics for branching random walks in random environment
In this case, one could make another modification of M such that the resulting martingale ˜M P ⊕Ω abstains from betting at n when n ∈ E (but uses Ω to retrieve the value) and bets on V (n) when n ∈ S (where V (n) = Z (n)).
Logic Blog 2012
P (M0 |y) is sufficiently small.” A Bayesian will make a decision, or perhaps abstain from doing so, by simply examining πn and/or a Bayes factor.
Bayesian-motivated tests of function fit and their asymptotic frequentist properties
Since our interest here is merely the implementation in principle, we abstain from performing concrete but straightforward calculations of amplitudes for surfaces with inserted Wilson loops.
Two-dimensional quantum Yang-Mills theory with corners
In ternary games, v (S, T ) for any (S, T ) ∈ Q(N ) is interpreted as the result of voting (+1: the bill is accepted, −1: the bill is rejected) when S is the set of voters voting in favor and T the set of voters voting against. N \ S ∪ T is the set of abstainers.
Bi-capacities -- Part I: definition, M\"obius transform and interaction
The present author feels that it is appropriate to abstain from describing this theory in one sentence, it is better to refer to the literature .
Around the gap between sociophysics and sociology
The above analysis is based on the assumption of compulsory participation in public goods interactions but what happens if participation is voluntary and risk averse individuals may choose to abstain? This situation can be modeled by introducing a third strategic type, the non-participating loners [39, 40].
Stochastic evolutionary game dynamics
Public goods with punishment and abstaining in finite and infinite populations.
Stochastic evolutionary game dynamics
But even if one wants to abstain from employing the influence of a pre-existing mean field it has to be considered that neighboring cells are never exactly equal.
Test-field method for mean-field coefficients with MHD background