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To voluntarily stop oneself from indulging or participating in doing something. (2)
Word Entries at Word Info: “abstain
abstain (ab STAYN, uhb STAYN) (verb), abstains; abstained; abstaining
1. Choosing not to do or to have something: Clarence is abstaining from taking part in the discussion.
2. The process of choosing not to vote for or against something: Seven members voted for the proposal, three voted against it, and four abstained.
3. To hold oneself back or to voluntarily do without something by refraining from doing it: It is a struggle to abstain from eating a large slice of chocolate birthday cake.
4. Etymology: from Latin abs-, "from" + tenere, "to hold".
To voluntarily stop consuming food or certain drinks.
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To refrain voluntarily from indulgence of the appetities.
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This entry is located in the following units: a-, ab-, abs- (page 10) ten-, tent-, tin-, -tain, -tainment, -tenance, -tinence (page 1)
abstain, abstemious
abstain (ab STAYN, uhb STAYN) (verb)
1. To refrain from something by one's own choice: Congressman Adrian Tyler promised to abstain from traditional political rhetoric.
2. To refrain from voting: Forty-five senators voted in favor of the new health bill, forty-five voted against it, and twenty-five decided to abstain.
abstemious (ab STEE mee uhs, uhb STEE mee uhs) (adjective)
Marked by restraint especially in the consumption of food or alcohol: Emily's mother was known as an abstemious eater and drinker who always had healthy meals for her family.

Diana's midlife heart attack made her realize the importance of taking care of her body and so it turned her towards a more abstemious and healthful lifestyle.

The terms abstain and abstemious seem to have similar formats and both have meanings involving "self-restraint" or "self-denial".

Although they may appear to come from the same root and both of them start with the Latin prefix abs-, meaning "from" or "away"; abstain is traced back to abs- plus the Latin verb tenēre, "to hold"; while abstemious gets its -temious from a suffix related to the Latin noun temetum, "intoxicating drink".