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abstain (verb) to refrain from; to avoid.

People who don't drink, smoke, or have sex especially for reasons of health abstain from them. When a person decides not to vote, for or against an issue, they abstain (from voting). Abstinence is avoiding alcohol, excess of food, smoking, etc..

  • For nearly two years, he lived on a modest diet, abstaining from rich foods and alcohol, for reasons of health.
  • His decision to abstain from alcohol follows his realization of the damage it has done to his health.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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