politely or patiently restrain an impulse to do something; refrain:the boy forbore from touching anything [with infinitive]:he modestly forbears to include his own work
[with object] refrain from doing or using (something):Rebecca could not forbear a smile
Old Englishforberan(see for-, bear1). The original senses were 'endure, bear with', hence 'endure the absence of something, do without', also 'bear up against, control oneself', hence 'refrain from' (Middle English)
Do not confuse forbear with forebear. Forbear means 'stop yourself from doing something' (he doesn’t forbear to write about the bad times), while forebear (which is also sometimes spelled forbear) means 'an ancestor' (our Stone Age forebears).