The definition of abstention is the act of purposely not doing something.(noun)
1. An example of abstention is when a Congressman chooses not to vote on an issue. 2. An example of abstention is refraining from drinking alcohol.
See abstention in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: L abstentio < abstinere, abstain
See abstention in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: Late Latin abstentiō, abstentiōn-
Origin: , from abstentus
Origin: , past participle of Latin abstinēre, to hold back; see abstain.
Learn more about abstention