A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [ab-steyn]
    • /æbˈsteɪn/
    • /æbˈsteɪn/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [ab-steyn]
    • /æbˈsteɪn/

Definitions of abstaining word

  • verb without object abstaining to hold oneself back voluntarily, especially from something regarded as improper or unhealthy (usually followed by from): to abstain from eating meat. 1
  • verb without object abstaining to refrain from casting one's vote: a referendum in which two delegates abstained. 1
  • noun abstaining Present participle of abstain. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of abstaining

First appearance:

before 1350
One of the 20% oldest English words
1350-1400; Middle English abste(i)nen < Middle French abstenir ≪ Latin abstinēre, equivalent to abs- abs- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold, keep

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Abstaining


abstaining popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 82% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
This word is included in each student's vocabulary. Most likely there is at least one movie with this word in the title.

abstaining usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for abstaining

noun abstaining

  • abstinence — Abstinence is the practice of abstaining from something such as alcoholic drink or sex, often for health or religious reasons.
  • denial — A denial of something is a statement that it is not true, does not exist, or did not happen.
  • brush-off — a refusal to talk or listen to someone; abrupt or final dismissal or rebuff.
  • nonparticipation — absence of participation: Nonparticipation of citizens in political matters hampers efforts toward better government.
  • renouncement — to give up or put aside voluntarily: to renounce worldly pleasures.

adjective abstaining

  • sober — not intoxicated or drunk.
  • intoxicated — Archaic. intoxicated.
  • low key — of reduced intensity; restrained; understated.
  • ascetic — An ascetic person has a way of life that is simple and strict, usually because of their religious beliefs.
  • abstinent — forbearance from any indulgence of appetite, especially from the use of alcoholic beverages: total abstinence.

Antonyms for abstaining

adjective abstaining

  • indulgent — characterized by or showing indulgence; benignly lenient or permissive: an indulgent parent.
  • soft-shelled — Also, soft-shelled. having a soft, flexible, or fragile shell, as a crab that has recently molted.

Top questions with abstaining

  • what does abstaining mean?
  • what is abstaining?
  • what is the meaning of abstaining?

See also

Matching words

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