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abstain from (something)

To refrain from consuming something or doing some activity. Katie wants to lose weight, so she has vowed to abstain from sugar. No, I don't really drink anymore. I abstained from alcohol while I was pregnant and realized I didn't miss it. I'm trying to abstain from frivolous spending so I can build up my emergency savings fund.
See also: abstain

abstain from voting

To refrain from casting a vote for someone or something. Many argue that citizens who abstain from voting put the democratic process in jeopardy. Because I didn't like either candidate, I decided to abstain from voting for the first time in my life. It annoys me so much that he abstains from voting but then complains endlessly about whoever wins.
See also: abstain, vote
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

abstain from something

to avoid some activity or the use of some substance, such as alcohol, drugs, sex, or food. They abstained from hard liquor and any other kind of intoxicants.
See also: abstain

abstain from voting

to choose not to vote either for or against a proposition or nominee. I will have to abstain from voting since I cannot make up my mind.
See also: abstain, vote
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

abstain from

To have made a deliberate choice not to do something: I abstained from eating fatty foods when I was on my diet. The minister abstained from drinking alcohol.
See also: abstain
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Swansea East Lab MP Carolyn Harris voted for the Customs Union and Common Market 2.0 and abstained from the other two votes.
'Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 21 (Determination of Pre-Election Matters); Yes: 33 States, Abstain: 2 State;
If the Socialists, who came second in the election, also abstained, the PP would be in a position to form a government.
What do the would-be leaders believe KENDALL Abstained. Out of the four candidates, Kendall was the only one to publicly back the party's decision to abstain on the vote.
However, several opposition MPs such as Wimal Weerawansa, DEW Gunadekara, Dinesh Gunawardene, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Tissa Vitarana and Sriyani Wijewickrama abstained during the second reading vote.
Earlier, in an interview to an English daily, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had said his party will abstain from voting in the Legislative Assembly.
Further, after the fast, the limited hours are taken up by sleep and prayer, potentially increasing the number of hours a smoker has abstained.
So whether the sex strike will hold water or not, I am yet to see if any woman is brave enough to abstain for what they believe is for a good cause.
Ladbrokes - how many Conservative MPs will vote against legalising gay weddings or abstain? 6-4 181 or more, 2 between 151 and 180, 2 0-150; next cabinet minister to leave his post: 5 M Gove, 8 J Greening, J Hunt, M Miller, 12 Lord Hill, G Osborne, 14 N Clegg, 16 bar.
This month, however, a bare majority of seven of the neighbors voted nay (Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan) while three abstained (UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iraq), two absented themselves (Turkey and Azerbaijan) and Bahrain took the ultimate step of voting for the resolution.
Sepp Blatter has branded the FA's decision to abstain in the FIFA presidential election as "strange" and said the organisation needed to play a leading role in world football.
SEPP BLATTER said the Football Association's decision to abstain in the FIFA presidential election was "strange".
SEPP BLATTER has branded the Football Association's decision to abstain in the FIFA presidential election as "strange".
FA chiefs have all but ruled out supporting current incumbent Sepp Blatter and last week's fresh allegations of World Cup bidding corruption involving Qatar make it increasingly likely that they will abstain in the vote on June 1.
People living near stores that sell tobacco may find it more difficult to quit smoking and continue to abstain from smoking than people living farther away, according to a February AJPH study.