One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘he appealed to the protestors to refrain from violence’
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, drop
informal quit, leave off, kick, swear off
British informal jack in
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