Meaning of ABSTAIN in English

ABSTAIN

v.intr. 1 a (usu. foll. by from) restrain oneself; refrain from indulging in (abstained from cakes and sweets; abstained from mentioning it). b refrain from drinking alcohol. 2 formally decline to use one's vote. abstainer n.

[ ME f. AF astener f. OF abstenir f. L abstinere abstent- (as AB-, tenere hold) ]

Concise Oxford English dictionary.      Краткий оксфордский словарь английского языка.