Refrain Definition

rĭ-frān
refrained, refraining
verb
refrained, refraining
To hold back; curb.
Webster's New World
To hold back; keep oneself (from doing something); forbear.
Webster's New World

(now rare) To repress (a desire, emotion etc.); to check or curb. [from 14th c.]

Wiktionary

(intransitive) To stop oneself from some action or interference; to abstain. [from 15th c.]

Wiktionary

(now rare, regional) To abstain from (food or drink). [from 16th c.]

Wiktionary
Antonyms:
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noun
A phrase, verse, or verses repeated at intervals in a song or poem, as after each stanza.
Webster's New World
Music for this.
Webster's New World
A song or melody.
American Heritage
A repeated utterance or theme.
American Heritage
Synonyms:

Other Word Forms of Refrain

Noun

Singular:
refrain
Plural:
refrains

Origin of Refrain

  • Middle English refreinen from Old French refrener to restrain from Latin refrēnāre re- re- frēnāre to restrain (from frēnum bridle) (from frendere to grind ghrendh- in Indo-European roots)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French refrain, from the Old French verb refraindre (“to break off, repeat"), from Latin re- (“back, again") + frangō (“break"); compare Occitan refranhs (“a refrain"), refranher (“to repeat"). See refract and the verb refrain.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English refrein from Old French refrain alteration of refrait past participle of refraindre to break off, repeat from Vulgar Latin refrangere to break off alteration of Latin refringere refract

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From a combination of Anglo-Norman refraindre, Middle French refreindre (from Latin refrangere), and Anglo-Norman refrener, Middle French refrener (from Latin refrenare).

    From Wiktionary

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