Noun Abstention Definition and Examples







An instance of declining to vote for or against a proposal or motion.
  1. 'A show of hands resulted in 11 people voting to bring back the bells, with one vote against and six abstentions.'
  2. 'The senate vote recorded 25 in favour 16 opposed and 10 abstentions.'
  3. 'Indeed, this pattern of fierce and prolonged debate, followed by a vote with a large number of abstentions, was a remarkable feature of debates in the ISG.'
  4. 'The US will therefore be able to find a majority of positive votes with a few abstentions.'
  5. 'There were two abstentions and one invalid vote.'
  6. 'The growing tide of abstentions and protest votes for the extreme right and the extreme left are other signs of disarray and dismay.'
  7. 'They could not make up their minds, so they voted eight abstentions.'
  8. 'The rebellion, small on the scale of recent backbench protests and partly because of Labour reluctance to back a Liberal Democrat motion, masked considerable Labour abstentions.'
  9. 'According to Stankushev the ratio between the number of votes and abstentions showed the ratio between fear and conscience.'
  10. 'Voters in the cities, like Harare and Bulawayo, voted No by three to one, whilst in the rural heartlands that were expected to vote Yes there were widespread abstentions.'
Restraint in one's consumption; abstinence.
  1. 'They started by studying men and women at all levels of drinking from abstention to those in detox for full-blown alcohol problems.'
  2. 'Existing treatments for alcoholism tend to concentrate either on abstention - sometimes aided by drugs - or the use of aversion therapy, such as drugs that make you ill if you drink.'
  3. 'The disquieting voices of the few people who doubted that complete abstention was achievable for most problematic consumers were drowned out in a sea of treatment optimism.'


1. an act or instance of abstaining.

2. withholding of a vote.


"There can be abstention votes."
"There can be abstention systems."
"There can be abstention figures."
"abstentions can be in favours."
"abstentions can be to proceedings."
"abstentions can be in ballots."
"members can have abstentions."
"magistrates can have abstentions."
"democrats can have abstentions."
"abstentions can be in votes."
"abstentions can be in senates."
"abstentions can be in chambers."
"abstentions can be from votes."
"abstentions can be for phases."
"abstentions can be at meetings."
"abstentions can be among electorates."
"abstentions can be to people/places/organizations."
"abstentions can be out of votes."
"abstentions can be on sides."
"abstentions can be on places."
"abstentions can help leaders on dates."
"abstentions can help leaders in cities."
"abstentions can cause concerns in places."
"abstentions can split in coalitions."
"abstentions can help on dates."
"abstentions can help in cities."
"abstentions can count under rules."
"abstentions can count in favours."
"abstentions can count as votes."
"abstentions can contribute to successes."
"abstentions can contribute to defeats."
"abstentions can cause in places."
"abstentions can be because of views."
"abstentions can amount to percents."

Early 16th century (denoting the action of keeping back or restraining): from late Latin abstentio(n-), from the verb abstinere (see abstain).

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