- 1abstain (from something) to choose not to use a vote, either in favor of or against something Ten people voted in favor, five against, and two abstained.
- 2abstain (from something) to decide not to do or have something, especially something you like or enjoy, because it is bad for your health or considered morally wrong to abstain from alcohol/sex/drugs see also abstention, abstinence
NAmE//əbˈsteɪn//[intransitive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they abstain
he / she / it abstains
past simple abstained
-ing form abstaining