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1An instance of declining to vote for or against a proposal or motion:‘a resolution passed by 126 votes to none, with six abstentions’
refusal to vote, abstaining, non-votingView synonyms
- ‘A motion passed overwhelmingly with no votes against and two abstentions was proposed jointly by Labour and the Conservatives.’
- ‘The amendment was approved with 65 votes for, 13 votes against and 22 abstentions.’
- ‘They could not make up their minds, so they voted eight abstentions.’
- ‘The US will therefore be able to find a majority of positive votes with a few abstentions.’
- ‘Since the vote was held in secret, it is impossible to say from which part of the government camp the 51 ‘no’ votes and abstentions came.’
- ‘There were seven abstentions and just four voted in favour of the plan.’
- ‘The growing tide of abstentions and protest votes for the extreme right and the extreme left are other signs of disarray and dismay.’
- ‘The senate vote recorded 25 in favour 16 opposed and 10 abstentions.’
- ‘Four of those six abstentions were members of the Latino Caucus, including its chairman, Marco Antonio Firebaugh.’
- ‘The rebellion, small on the scale of recent backbench protests and partly because of Labour reluctance to back a Liberal Democrat motion, masked considerable Labour abstentions.’
- ‘Following several hours of debates, a council vote to accept the plan was passed by 29 in favour with four votes against and 20 abstentions.’
- ‘Indeed, this pattern of fierce and prolonged debate, followed by a vote with a large number of abstentions, was a remarkable feature of debates in the ISG.’
- ‘There were two abstentions and one invalid vote.’
- ‘The lopsided vote for Libya, including all those cowardly European abstentions, speaks volumes about the UN's character.’
- ‘Voters in the cities, like Harare and Bulawayo, voted No by three to one, whilst in the rural heartlands that were expected to vote Yes there were widespread abstentions.’
- ‘Therefore, of 300 total seats, only 75 votes or abstentions would be required to block constitutional reform.’
- ‘According to Stankushev the ratio between the number of votes and abstentions showed the ratio between fear and conscience.’
- ‘A show of hands resulted in 11 people voting to bring back the bells, with one vote against and six abstentions.’
- ‘The resolution was backed by 22 of the 35 members of the IAEA's governing board, with 12 abstentions and one vote against.’
- ‘This time the vote was 120 to 98, with six abstentions.’
2[mass noun] Restraint in one's consumption; abstinence:‘alcohol consumption versus abstention’
teetotalism, temperance, sobriety, abstemiousnessView synonyms
- ‘Existing treatments for alcoholism tend to concentrate either on abstention - sometimes aided by drugs - or the use of aversion therapy, such as drugs that make you ill if you drink.’
- ‘The disquieting voices of the few people who doubted that complete abstention was achievable for most problematic consumers were drowned out in a sea of treatment optimism.’
- ‘They started by studying men and women at all levels of drinking from abstention to those in detox for full-blown alcohol problems.’
- ‘Fasting or abstention from sex is a cakewalk compared to it.’
- ‘But again, this would only be true if Crusoe's saving - i.e. his abstention from possible present consumption - had been channeled into investment in such tools.’
Early 16th century (denoting the action of keeping back or restraining): from late Latin abstentio(n-), from the verb abstinere (see abstain).
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