From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Voting
abstainab‧stain /əbˈsteɪn/ ●○○ verb [intransitive] 1 PPVto choose not to vote for or against something Six countries voted for the change, five voted against, and two abstained.2 to not do or have something you enjoy, especially alcohol or sex, usually for reasons of religion or healthabstain from Pilots must abstain from alcohol for 24 hours before flying.
→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
abstainThere was a total of 12 candidates; although voting was obligatory an estimated 25 percent of the 5,700,000 electorate abstained.The sex education program encourages teens to abstain.Three members of the committee abstained.But 26m voters, or 69 % of the electorate, abstained.Mayor Mike Martini, a winery owner, abstained and the vote Tuesday ended up 3-3.Only 10 percent abstain by choice.Most of the church members drink only moderately or abstain completely.Junior politicians are supposed to abstain from criticizing the government.Babies born to women who did not abstain from drinking during pregnancy also tend to exhibit abnormal sleep patterns after birth.You should abstain from food and caffeinated drinks before the operation.Catholics are supposed to abstain from meat on Good Friday.Trial volunteers are told to abstain from watching TV for a month.Qiao Shi, the intelligence chief who had abstained in the martial law vote earlier, endorsed an immediate army crackdown.The Government abstained on a different aspect relating to the treaty of Rome basis.abstain fromTeens are being urged to abstain from sex.
Origin abstain (1300-1400) Old French abstenir, from Latin abstinere, from abs- away + tenere to hold