American English

Definition of abstention noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] abstention (from something) an act of choosing not to use a vote either in favor of or against something The voting was 15 in favor, 3 against, and 2 abstentions. Voter abstention is seen as the only real form of dissent in elections.
  2. 2[uncountable] (formal) the act of not allowing yourself to have or do something enjoyable or something that is considered bad The Church insisted on abstention from all luxuries. see also abstain
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: abstention