- Stop oneself from doing something: she refrained from commentMore example sentences
abstain, desist, hold back, stop oneself, withhold; forbear, forgo, do without, dispense with, resist the temptation to, avoid, steer clear of, give a wide berth to, have nothing to do with, fight shy of, eschew, shun, renounce, forswear, abjure, leave alone, not touch, reject; stop, cease, finish, discontinue, give up, break off, dropBritish • informal jack in• archaic forsake
- Of them all, Sainte-Beuve alone refrained from hurting me with foolish words.
- The serious complication of pneumothorax can be avoided by refraining from aiming the needle at an intercostal space.
- To avoid their after taste during dessert, we might have refrained from eating them had we noticed them sooner.
Middle English (in the sense 'restrain a thought or feeling'): from Old French refrener, from Latin refrenare, from re- (expressing intensive force) + frenum 'bridle'.
- 1A repeated line or number of lines in a poem or song, typically at the end of each verse.More example sentences
- These all seem to derive from the Folio text, but some may supplement it by accurately recording where breaks came between verses and refrains.
- Even Isaiah turns preacher in our text with a sermonic refrain repeated in verses 21 and 28.
- In these ten short verses, the refrain, ‘Do not fear,’ occurs three times.
- 1.1The musical accompaniment for a refrain: he would play the refrainMore example sentences
- Musical refrains differ by virtue of the score or the performer.
- The fast sections are extremely delightful with slow sections having wonderful melodies and tender refrains.
- The arrangements are intelligent without being fussy: tuneful refrains for cello and woodwind, beguiling motifs for piano and vibes, emotional guitar and restrained drums.
- 1.2A comment or complaint that is often repeated: ‘Poor Tom’ had become the constant refrain of his friendsMore example sentences
- Amongst the journalists who responded to my queries, there was a constant refrain: ‘what can I possibly do?’
- A constant refrain from Australian political parties not only in the recent election campaign but for generations has been that Australia cannot afford more money for national defence.
- Dean's emphasis on Kennedy's prudence during the Cuban missile crisis was a constant refrain of leading Democrats in late 2002.
late Middle English: from Old French, from refraindre 'break', based on Latin refringere 'break up' (because the refrain ‘broke’ the sequence).