• WordNet 3.6
    • n abstention the trait of abstaining (especially from alcohol)
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Abstention The act of abstaining; a holding aloof.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n abstention A holding off or refraining; abstinence from action; neglect or refusal to do something.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Abstention a refraining
    • ***


  • Gilbert K. Chesterton
    “Chastity does not mean abstention from sexual wrong; it means something flaming, like Joan of Arc.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. See Abstain
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. abstenir—L. abs, from, tenēre, to hold. See Tenable.


In literature:

Long abstention from travel and variety of incident had made me restless and discontented.
"The Romance of an Old Fool" by Roswell Field
The Government had a very good division, 346 to 79; but there were many abstentions.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 159, October 27, 1920" by Various
The abstentions indicate a curious and interesting habitude ingrained in the English Press.
"The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 28, April 1893" by Various
There was a prudent abstention from any inquiry into the truth of this statement.
"Benjamin Franklin" by John Torrey Morse, Jr.
With abstention from all lessons, it will soon cure.
"Papers on Health" by John Kirk
The week's end found him a little further in debt, in spite of abstention.
"Despair's Last Journey" by David Christie Murray
Lyon had not observed in the circles in which he visited any marked abstention from comment on the singularities of their members.
"A London Life; The Patagonia; The Liar; Mrs. Temperly" by Henry James
The reason for my abstention is a very simple one.
"The League of Nations and its Problems" by Lassa Oppenheim
Abstention from a book under compulsion has something of the character of perusal.
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
She had proved it by a hundred experimental intermissions, abstentions, and recoveries.
"The Flaw in the Crystal" by May Sinclair

In poetry:

And oftentimes was brave contention,
Such as beseems the wise;
But always courteous abstention
From over—swift replies.
"Two Visions" by Alfred Austin

In news:

Judges split on District Court's use of Colorado River abstention doctrine.
The Presbyterian General Assembly voted 333-331, with two abstentions, to reject the divestment plan.
The UN General Assembly has, by a vote of 137-12 (with 17 abstentions), condemned Bashar al-Assad and his relentless killing of the Syrian opposition which has gone on for nearly a year.
Homophobic Chicken Sandwiches, Mass Abstentions, and Plummeting Property Values.
The bishops also approved several liturgical agenda items Nov 14: a document on liturgical music, 183-22, with three abstentions.
An English-language version of a document on weekday celebrations of the Liturgy of the Word, 190-18, and a Spanish-language version, 188-16, with five abstentions.
On May 21, by a vote of 49-25 with 2 abstentions, the General Assembly released the bill which requires you to appoint a qualified purchasing agent , A-1645/S-770.
After a suspiciously long abstention, Hollywood has finally deemed the death penalty an Important Issue once again.
Alfred Kinsey grew up in a world where sex education, such as it was, focused on abstention.
The vote in the 15-member council was 10-0 with five abstentions, including Russia and China.
It was approved 396-9, with 2 abstentions.
The vote was 138 delegates in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions.
Three "yes" votes, one abstention, and one absence on Thursday night at a special meeting of the North Adams school board saw a two-year contract with the North Adams Teachers' Association (NATA) approved.
UNITED NATIONS—Just nine nations voted against the Palestinian Authority's upgrade to nonvoting observer state status, which passed the General Assembly 138-9, with 41 abstentions.
The vote was 10-5, with one abstention.

In science:

Anonymous yes-no voting with abstention and multiple levels of approval.
On Dedekind's problem for complete simple games
Banerjee et al. [2008]), abstentions were replaced with negative votes.
Learning the Structure and Parameters of Large-Population Graphical Games from Behavioral Data
If the importance of the contribution is measured in shares, simple ma jority at the ESRF means at least 50% of the shares and the opposition of not more than half of the votes, each partner having one vote; unanimity means 2/3 of the shares and no opposition – abstentions always being possible.
TESLA Technical Design Report Part I: Executive Summary