2. To withhold from voting for or against something: Seven members casted ballots for the proposal, three were against it, and four abstained.
3. To forebear 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".
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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.
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".