• WordNet 3.6
    • v refrain choose not to consume "I abstain from alcohol"
    • v refrain resist doing something "He refrained from hitting him back","she could not forbear weeping"
    • n refrain the part of a song where a soloist is joined by a group of singers
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Refrain The burden of a song; a phrase or verse which recurs at the end of each of the separate stanzas or divisions of a poetic composition. "We hear the wild refrain ."
    • Refrain To abstain from. "Who, requiring a remedy for his gout, received no other counsel than to refrain cold drink."
    • Refrain To hold back; to restrain; to keep within prescribed bounds; to curb; to govern. "His reason refraineth not his foul delight or talent.""Refrain thy foot from their path."
    • v. i Refrain To keep one's self from action or interference; to hold aloof; to forbear; to abstain. "Refrain from these men, and let them alone.""They refrained therefrom [eating flesh] some time after."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • refrain To hold baek; restrain; curb; keep from action.
    • refrain To forbear; abstain from; quit.
    • refrain To forbear; abstain; keep one's self from action or interference.
    • n refrain A burden or chorus recurring at regular intervals in the course of a song or ballad, usually at the end of each stanza.
    • n refrain The musical phrase or figure to which the burden of a song is set. It has the same relation to the main part of the tune that the burden has to the main text of the song.
    • n refrain An after-taste or -odor; that impression which lingers on the sense: as, the refrain of a Cologne water, of a perfume, of a wine.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Refrain rē-frān′ a burden or chorus recurring at the end of each division of a poem: the musical form to which the burden of a song is set: an after-taste or other sense impression.
    • v.t Refrain rē-frān′ to curb: to restrain
    • v.i Refrain to keep from action: to forbear
    • ***


  • Simone Weil
    “Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction.”
  • Olive Schreiner
    “My feeling is that there is nothing in life but refraining from hurting others, and comforting those that are sad.”
  • Horace
    “Refrain from asking what going to happen tomorrow, and everyday that fortune grants you, count as gain.”
  • Georg C. Lichtenberg
    “Every man has his moral backside which he refrains from showing unless he has to and keeps covered as long as possible with the trousers of decorum.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. refreinen, OF. refrener, F. refréner, fr. L. refrenare,; influenced by OF. refraindre, to restrain, moderate, fr. LL. refrangere, for L. refringere, to break up, break (see Refract). L. refrenare, is fr. pref. re-, back + frenum, bridle; cf. Skr. dhṛ, to hold


In literature:

Eventually the general's entreaties prevailed, and they refrained from destroying the town.
"Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II" by Caius Cornelius Tacitus
Burden (refrain) = rekantajxo.
"English-Esperanto Dictionary" by John Charles O'Connor and Charles Frederic Hayes
One criticism of Leibniz's argument we cannot refrain from making.
"Theodicy" by G. W. Leibniz
The stanzas in italic are a kind of refrain; they represent the music of the youngest son.
"Modern Prose And Poetry; For Secondary Schools" by Various
Mrs. Davenport refrained from giving them much of a scolding, as she thought Julia really needed coddling a little.
"A Little Florida Lady" by Dorothy C. Paine
As I could not refrain from contributing tears to this man's story, so neither could I refrain my charity for his assistance; so I called him.
"History of the Plague in London" by Daniel Defoe
Dreadful imaginings occurred to Eustacia, but she carefully refrained from uttering them to her husband.
"The Return of the Native" by Thomas Hardy
But he refrained from making his presence known in the dormitory that afternoon.
"The Jester of St. Timothy's" by Arthur Stanwood Pier
What should she refrain from doing?
"The Vitalized School" by Francis B. Pearson
The one-eyed leader swerves round a corner, roaring the refrain.
"Observations of an Orderly" by Ward Muir

In poetry:

Alike in sunshine and in rain,
Now loud and clear, now soft and low,
He warbles forth the same refrain,
Which haunts me with its hint of woe,--
"Come again! Come again!"
"A May Monody" by John Lawson Stoddard
They make my childhood live again;
And life's fair dawn grows once more bright,
While listening to the sweet refrain,
Sung in the Sabbath's waning light,--
"Glory to Thee, my God, this night!"
"Old Hymn-Tunes" by John Lawson Stoddard
Eve. Now, that with flowers so lovely
We have adorned our tresses,
Here let us both with humble reverence kneel,
And praise our mighty Maker.
From this my thirsting heart
No longer can refrain.
"Adam: A Sacred Drama. Act 2. " by William Cowper
Then, a singer, richly gifted,
Her charmed voice uplifted;
And the wood-thrush and song-sparrow
Listened, dumb with envious pain,
To the clear and sweet refrain
Whose notes they could not borrow.
"Voyage of the Jettie" by John Greenleaf Whittier
The pride I trampled is now my scathe,
For it tramples me again.
The old resentment lasts like death,
For you love, yet you refrain.
I break my heart on your hard unfaith,
And I break my heart in vain.
"To: W A" by William Ernest Henley
A wise prince you were, and well worthy of the name,
And to write in praise of thee I cannot refrain;
Because you were ever ready to defend that which is right,
Both pleasing and righteous in God's eye-sight.
"The Death of Prince Leopold" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

Still, a familiar refrain in courthouse hallways rings true.
49ers' refrain : Way to go, Ohio.
Hamilton County budget meetings have common refrain .
Obama's refrain : GOP ideas are out of last century.
GOP's "We Built It" Refrain Is Both Puzzling and Telling.
Officials encourage parents to refrain from purchasing Lottery tickets as gifts for minors.
AT& T, Verizon to Refrain From Tracking Users Online.
Where's the refrain after I-75 crane mishap.
Woods' refrain remains: 'Second sucks.
Black Farmers' Refrain : Where's All Our Money.
A 90's Refrain for a 60's Girl Group.
Ralph Woodson plays like Jimi, still refraining , still dreaming.
I am no Socrates , but I think that asking open questions and refraining from telling the story yourself can be an interesting way to have a group discussion.
The article above questions whether the governor will refrain from supporting state-mandated restrictions on the ability of local governments to solve their own problems.
I'm talking about Washington, which keeps finding ways to ignore the haunting "jobs, jobs, jobs" refrain that millions of desperate Americans are tuned in to.

In science:

I have refrained from writing the constant of proportionality, which also provides the correct dimension for mR,I , because this constant will drop out anyway in the ratio mI /mR .
The Quark-Gluon Plasma in Equilibrium
We refrain from identifying Θ with “− i σ2 ,” as is done implicitly in all considerations on the sub ject – see, e.g., Ref. – because such an identification does not exist for higher-spin (j, 0) ⊕ (0, j ) representation spaces.
Extended set of Majorana spinors, a new dispersion relation, and a preferred frame
Since Assumption (A) is an inherent part of our definition of optimality, we will refrain from explicitly stating it when reporting our asymptotic optimality results.
Asymptotic Bayes-optimality under sparsity of some multiple testing procedures
It is straightforward to include additional terms that violate C and P , but we refrain from doing so in order to keep the discussion simple.
Tests of the Standard Electroweak Model at the Energy Frontier
Here we refrain from doing so and fix k to the smallest possible value k = 2π/Lz where Lz is the extent of the computational domain in z direction.
Test-field method for mean-field coefficients with MHD background