Refrain meaning

rĭ-frān
To hold oneself back; forbear from doing something.

Refrained from swearing.

verb
8
3
A phrase, verse, or verses repeated at intervals in a song or poem, as after each stanza.
noun
8
5
(intransitive) To stop oneself from some action or interference; to abstain. [from 15th c.]
verb
4
2
A repeated utterance or theme.
noun
3
2
To hold back; keep oneself (from doing something); forbear.
verb
3
2
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To hold back; curb.
verb
3
2
Music for this.
noun
3
2
The definition of a refrain is the part of a song or poem that is repeated.

An example of refrain is the part "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind, The answer is blowin' in the wind." in Peter Paul and Mary's 1960's folk song "Blowing in the Wind."

noun
3
3
The chorus or burden of a song repeated at the end of each verse or stanza.

We hear the wild refrain. Whittier.

noun
2
1
Refrain is defined as to keep from doing, feeling or saying something.

An example of refrain is for a child to hold his tongue instead of talking back to his parent.

verb
2
2
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(archaic) To hold back, to restrain (someone or something). [from 14th c.]
verb
2
2
(reflexive, archaic) To show restraint; to hold oneself back. [from 14th c.]
verb
2
2
(now rare) To repress (a desire, emotion etc.); to check or curb. [from 14th c.]
verb
2
2
A song or melody.
noun
2
3
(now rare, regional) To abstain from (food or drink). [from 16th c.]
verb
1
1
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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

  • 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 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

  • 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