Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or habit of deliberate self-denial.
  • n. An abstaining vote or voter: 12 ayes, 10 nays, and 8 abstentions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Non-participation in the political world; as a country avoiding international affairs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. The act of abstaining; a holding aloof.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A holding off or refraining; abstinence from action; neglect or refusal to do something.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the trait of abstaining (especially from alcohol)

Etymologies

Late Latin abstentiō, abstentiōn-, from abstentus, past participle of Latin abstinēre, to hold back; see abstain.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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