Definition of abstain verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

     

    abstain

     verb
    verb
    NAmE//əbˈsteɪn//
     
    [intransitive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they abstain
     
    he / she / it abstains
     
    past simple abstained
     
    -ing form abstaining
     
     
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  1. 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.
  2. 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
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: abstain