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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Kate wanted to slap Keith round the face but she refrained.
▪ Please refrain from smoking in the restaurant.
▪ Rand refrained from comment on the scandal involving his opponent.
▪ Black leaders will refrain from hammering at the issue out of an uneasiness at speaking about intergenerational oppression.
▪ Chamlong, seated beside Suchinda, appealed to protestors to refrain from violence.
▪ He explained that he had refrained from elaborating on his opponents' anti-constitutional activities in order to avoid tension.
▪ Jessica had refrained from expressing any further disquiet over them - at lest to me.
▪ Nevertheless, he refrains from visiting at the Vincys' for a time.
▪ Refiners have refrained from building any new plants since 1977.
▪ The storekeepers paid Mr. B. a fin a week, and he refrained from smashing up their equipment.
▪ "Never again" is the refrain associated with the Holocaust.
▪ And beneath it, that refrain of betrayal.
▪ Both Mama Bear and Papa Bear repeat their familiar refrain.
▪ Ever since the 23d of September he had recommenced his eternal refrain by demanding reinforcements, and... more reinforcements!
▪ Her own refrain went: This is not for me.
▪ His swollen, inflamed face had become unbearable now; he could neither touch it, nor refrain from touching it.
▪ Most notable were the razor-sharp bottleneck on Cloud Nine and the familar, sliding refrain of Something.
▪ This refrain might play well in Washington, but it gets less true by the day.
▪ Who is the beloved who sings this refrain to her lover?
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Refrain \Re*frain"\ (r[-e]*fr[=a]n"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Refrained (-fr[=a]nd"); p. pr. & vb. n. Refraining.] [OE. refreinen, OF. refrener, F. refr['e]ner, fr. L. refrenare; influenced by OF. refraindre to restrain, moderate, fr. LL. refrangere, for L. refringere to break up, break (see Refract). L. refrenare is fr. pref. re- back + frenum bridle; cf. Skr. dh[.r] to hold.]

  1. To hold back; to restrain; to keep within prescribed bounds; to curb; to govern.

    His reason refraineth not his foul delight or talent.

    Refrain thy foot from their path.
    --Prov. i. 15.

  2. To abstain from. [Obs.]

    Who, requiring a remedy for his gout, received no other counsel than to refrain cold drink.
    --Sir T. Browne.


Refrain \Re*frain"\, v. i. To keep one's self from action or interference; to hold aloof; to forbear; to abstain.

Refrain from these men, and let them alone.
--Acts v. 38.

They refrained therefrom [eating flesh] some time after.
--Sir T. Browne.

Syn: To hold back; forbear; abstain; withhold.


Refrain \Re*frain"\, n. [F. refrain, fr. OF. refraindre; cf. Pr. refranhs a refrain, refranher to repeat. See Refract, Refrain, v.] The burden of a song; a phrase or verse which recurs at the end of each of the separate stanzas or divisions of a poetic composition.

We hear the wild refrain.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-14c., from Old French refraigner "restrain, repress, keep in check" (12c., Modern French Réfréner), from Latin refrenare "to bridle, hold in with a bit, check, curb, keep down, control," from re- "back" (see re-) + frenare "restrain, furnish with a bridle," from frenum "a bridle." Related: Refrained; refraining.


late 14c., from Old French refrain "chorus" (13c.), alteration of refrait, noun use of past participle of refraindre "repeat," also "break off," from Vulgar Latin *refrangere "break off," alteration of Latin refringere "break up, break open" (see refraction) by influence of frangere "to break." Influenced in French by cognate Provençal refranhar "singing of birds, refrain." The notion is of something that causes a song to "break off" then resume. OED says not common before 19c.


Etymology 1 vb. 1 (context transitive archaic English) To hold back, to restrain (someone or something). (from 14th c.) 2 (context reflexive archaic English) To show restraint; to hold oneself back. (from 14th c.) 3 (context transitive now rare English) To repress (a desire, emotion etc.); to check or curb. (from 14th c.) 4 (context intransitive English) To stop oneself (term: from) some action or interference; to abstain. (from 15th c.) 5 (context transitive now rare regional English) To abstain from (food or drink). (from 16th c.) Etymology 2

n. 1 The chorus or burden of a song repeated at the end of each verse or stanz

  1. 2 A much repeated comment, complaint, or saying.

  1. n. the part of a song where a soloist is joined by a group of singers [syn: chorus]

  2. v. not do something; "He refrained from hitting him back"; "she could not forbear weeping" [syn: forbear] [ant: act]

  3. choose no to consume; "I abstain from alcohol" [syn: abstain, desist] [ant: consume]

Refrain (Mamoru Miyano song)

"Refrain" is Japanese voice actor Mamoru Miyano's fifth single, released on October 21, 2009. It peaked at #22 on the Oricon charts.

Refrain (disambiguation)

A refrain is a line or lines that is repeated in a verse or song.

Refrain may also refer to:

  • "Refrain" (Mamoru Miyano song)
  • "Refrain" (Lys Assia song) by Lys Assia, won Eurovision Song Contest 1956
  • Refrain (Stockhausen), a chamber-music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen

A refrain (from Vulgar Latin refringere, "to repeat", and later from Old French refraindre) is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse; the "chorus" of a song. Poetic fixed forms that feature refrains include the villanelle, the virelay, and the sestina.

The use of refrains is particularly associated with where the verse-chorus-verse song structure typically places a refrain in almost every song. The refrain or chorus often sharply contrasts the verse melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically, and assumes a higher level of dynamics and activity, often with added instrumentation. Chorus form, or strophic form, is a sectional and/or additive way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition of one formal section or block played repeatedly.

Refrain (Lys Assia song)

"Refrain" was the winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1956, co-written by Émile Gardaz and Géo Voumard, performed by Lys Assia representing Switzerland. It was the first-ever winner of the Contest, but not the first-ever performance by Switzerland. This apparent anomaly is due to the rules of the 1956 Contest allowing (for the only time to date) each competing country to be represented by two songs. Assia represented Switzerland singing both songs (one of only two performers to do this), and had previously performed " Das alte Karussell" in German ("Refrain" was sung in French).

The song is in the classic chanson mode and laments the lost loves of the singer's "adolescence" (the French original reads "vingt ans", which can also be rendered "twenties" in English).

The song was performed 9th on the night of the contest, following the Netherlands' Corry Brokken with " Voorgoed voorbij" and preceding Belgium's Mony Marc " Le plus beau jour de ma vie". It was the winner of the contest, however the number of points given to it was never revealed.

The song was succeeded as Contest winner in 1957 by Corry Brokken representing the Netherlands singing " Net als toen".

The song was accompanied at the 1956 contest by Assia with " Das alte Karussell" and was succeeded as Swiss representative at the 1957 contest by Assia with " L'enfant que j'étais".

Refrain (Stockhausen)

Refrain for three players (piano with woodblocks, vibraphone with alpine cowbells, and amplified celesta with antique cymbals) is a chamber-music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is number 11 in his catalog of works.

Usage examples of "refrain".

I cannot refrain from alluding, and which excited deep interest at the time.

It is particularly important to refrain from making unfavourable remarks or statements concerning the friends and the loved ones of God, inasmuch as any expression of grievance, of complaint or backbiting is incompatible with the requirements of unity and harmony and would dampen the spirit of love, fellowship and nobility.

I heard him at the piano while I was yet looking after my housekeeping, singing refrains of barcaroles and drinking songs, Italian and German, by the score.

From a window opening upon a balcony overhead came the clear notes of a barytone voice enunciating the oldfashioned words of an English ballad, the refrain of which expressed hopeless separation.

Albert apparently refrained from Mitch recalled hearing something about a brouhaha in St.

Hugh dined with me, and after dinner I produced those trophies which the strongest-minded are unable to refrain from purchasing, when they are offered by an engaging burnoused ruffian in the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings.

Vivacious, noisy, loving the nectar of flowers and the juices of fruits, Baal Burra was phenomenal in many winsome ways, but in a spirit of rare self denial I refrain from the pleasure of chronicling some of them in order to give place to instance and proof of the reasoning powers of an astonishingly high order.

He was tempted to order his driver to stop the jeep so he could show Manzo what happened to underlings who chronically complained, but he refrained for two reasons.

Having come to see the obstreperous rodent in a different light, Cezer refrained from licking his chops.

Once the baritones had finished telling of the dread sickness in the land, which had struck with incredible speed across the breath of Pern, the full chorus quietly introduced the refrain, of Moreta secluded with her queen, Orlith, who is about to clutch in Fort Weyr, while the healers from all holds and Weyrs try to isolate the form of the disease and find a cure.

The refrain thundered so loudly within his skull that the meager assembly of platelets left to guard the vascular borders of his brain might be fatally dislodged by the sheer vibrations of the thunderous noise.

He decided that he would send it over by Pottinger, whom he knew he could trust not only to deliver the letter, but to refrain from telling anyone that he had been sent with it.

When, at an earlier period, I refrained from discussing the question of frontier policy, I declared that its consideration was only postponed until a more propitious moment.

With my effusive compliments and most glorious best wishes to Ramus Ymph, I will somewhat indecisively refrain from calling him to Service.

I even held Anse refraining still, not that I was holding him recessional, but as though nothing else had ever been.