Abstention is when someone deliberately avoids doing something, especially something that might be harmful.

You might decide to live for a year without buying anything besides food — you could call the act of doing this abstention from the consumer lifestyle. Other kinds of abstention might include resisting junk food or quitting smoking. To abstain is to hold back or shun something. The root of both words is the Latin abstinere, "withhold, keep back, or keep off."

Definitions of abstention
  1. noun
    the trait of abstaining (especially from alcohol)
    synonyms: abstinence
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    type of:
    self-denial, self-discipline
    the trait of practicing self discipline
  2. noun
    the act of declining to vote for or against something
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    type of:
    ballot, balloting, vote, voting
    a choice that is made by counting the number of people in favor of each alternative
Word Family

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