When someone burps in a quiet classroom it can be hard to refrain from laughing. Use the verb refrain if you have a sudden impulse to do something and you have stopped yourself from doing it.

It's usually hard to refrain from doing something: you might find it difficult to refrain from eating dessert after dinner, for example — especially when your aunt makes her double chocolate chunk brownies. The Latin word refrēnāre is formed from the prefix re-, "back," plus frēnāre, "to hold a horse back with a bridle." No need to hold back when using refrain as a noun; it’s the part of a song or poem that repeats.

Definitions of refrain
  1. verb
    resist doing something
    “He refrained from hitting him back”
    synonyms: forbear
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    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
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    leave, leave alone, leave behind
    leave unchanged or undisturbed or refrain from taking
    let it go
    not act
    refrain from voting
    save, spare
    refrain from harming
    forbear, hold back
    refrain from doing
    help, help oneself
    abstain from doing; always used with a negative
    stand by
    not act or do anything
    sit out
    not participate in (an activity, such as a dance or a sports event)
    leave unchanged
    favor, favour
    treat gently or carefully
  2. verb
    choose not to consume
    synonyms: abstain, desist
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    consume, have, ingest, take, take in
    serve oneself to, or consume regularly
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    abstain from eating
    abstain from certain foods, as for religious or medical reasons
    avoid, keep off
    refrain from certain foods or beverages
    practice teetotalism and abstain from the consumption of alcoholic beverages
    eat sparingly, for health reasons or to lose weight
    follow a regimen or a diet, as for health reasons
  3. noun
    the part of a song where a soloist is joined by a group of singers
    synonyms: chorus
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    tra-la, tra-la-la
    a set of nonsensical syllables used while humming a refrain
    type of:
    an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
Word Family