- an act or instance of abstaining.
- withholding of a vote.
- a voluntary decision not to act; the act of refraining or abstaining
- the act of withholding one’s vote
1520s, from Middle French abstention (Old French astencion), from Late Latin abstentionem (nominative abstentio) “the act of retaining,” noun of action from past participle stem of abstinere (see abstain).