A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [ab-sten-shuh n]
    • /æbˈstɛn ʃən/
    • /æbˈsten.ʃən/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [ab-sten-shuh n]
    • /æbˈstɛn ʃən/

Definitions of abstention word

  • variable noun abstention Abstention is a formal act of not voting either for or against a proposal. 3
  • uncountable noun abstention Abstention is the same as abstinence. 3
  • noun abstention a voluntary decision not to act; the act of refraining or abstaining 3
  • noun abstention the act of withholding one's vote 3
  • noun abstention the act or an instance of abstaining 3
  • noun abstention an act or instance of abstaining. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of abstention

First appearance:

before 1515
One of the 27% oldest English words
1515-25; < Late Latin abstentiōn- (stem of abstentiō), equivalent to Latin abstent(us), past participle of abstinēre to abstain + -iōn- -ion

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Abstention


abstention popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 77% 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.

abstention usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for abstention

noun abstention

  • sobriety — the state or quality of being sober.
  • abstinence — Abstinence is the practice of abstaining from something such as alcoholic drink or sex, often for health or religious reasons.
  • self-restraint — restraint imposed on one by oneself; self-control.
  • self-denial — the sacrifice of one's own desires; unselfishness.
  • self-control — control or restraint of oneself or one's actions, feelings, etc.

Antonyms for abstention

noun abstention

  • self-indulgence — indulging one's own desires, passions, whims, etc., especially without restraint.

Top questions with abstention

  • what does abstention mean?
  • what is abstention?
  • what is the meaning of abstention?
  • what is an abstention?

See also

Matching words

Was this page helpful?
Yes No
Thank you for your feedback! Tell your friends about this page
Tell us why?