Definition of refrain noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//rɪˈfreɪn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈfreɪn//
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  1. 1a comment or complaint that is often repeated Complaints about poor food in schools have become a familiar refrain. The protest began with a small group, but then the others took up the refrain.
  2. 2the part of a song or a poem that is repeated after each verse synonym chorus Wordfindercouplet, image, lyric, poetry, recite, refrain, rhyme, scansion, stanza, verse
  3. Word Originnoun late Middle English: from Old French, from refraindre ‘break’, based on Latin refringere ‘break up’ (because the refrain “broke” the sequence).Extra examples Complaints about school food have become a familiar refrain. I kept hearing the same refrain. Shoppers, so the refrain goes, are never happy until they have found a bargain. The choir’s sopranos took up the refrain.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: refrain

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