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refrain1

[ri-freyn] /rɪˈfreɪn/
verb (used without object)
1.
to abstain from an impulse to say or do something (often followed by from):
I refrained from telling him what I thought.
verb (used with object)
2.
Archaic. to curb.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English refreinen < Old French refrener < Latin refrēnāre to bridle, equivalent to re- re- + frēn(um) bridle + -āre infinitive suffix
Related forms
refrainer, noun
refrainment, noun
unrefrained, adjective
unrefraining, adjective
Can be confused
refrain, restrain.
Synonyms
1. forbear, desist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for refrain from

refrain1

/rɪˈfreɪn/
verb
1.
(intransitive) usually foll by from. to abstain (from action); forbear
Derived Forms
refrainer, noun
refrainment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin refrēnāre to check with a bridle, from re- + frēnum a bridle

refrain2

/rɪˈfreɪn/
noun
1.
a regularly recurring melody, such as the chorus of a song
2.
a much repeated saying or idea
Word Origin
C14: via Old French, ultimately from Latin refringere to break into pieces
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for refrain from
refrain
c.1300, from O.Fr. refraigner "restrain, repress" (12c.), from L. refrenare "bridle, hold in with a bit," from re- "back" + frenare "restrain, furnish with a bridle," from frenum "a bridle."
refrain
late 14c., from O.Fr. refrain, alteration of refrait, properly pp. of refraindre "repeat," also "break off," from Prov. refranhar "singing of birds, refrain," from V.L. *refrangere "break off," alteration of L. refringere (see refraction). The notion is of something that causes a song to "break off" then resume. Not common before 19c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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refrain from in Culture

refrain definition


In some pieces of verse, a set of words repeated at the end of each stanza.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for refrain from

refrain

a phrase, line, or group of lines repeated at intervals throughout a poem, generally at the end of the stanza. Refrains are found in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead and are common in primitive tribal chants. They appear in literature as varied as ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Latin verse, popular ballads, and Renaissance and Romantic lyrics. Three common refrains are the chorus, recited by more than one person; the burden, in which a whole stanza is repeated; and the repetend, in which the words are repeated erratically throughout the poem. A refrain may be an exact repetition, or it may exhibit slight variations in meaning or form as in the following excerpt from "Jesse James": Jesse had a wife to mourn him all her life,The children they are brave.'Twas a dirty little coward shotMister Howard,And laid Jesse James in his grave.. . . . . . . .It was Robert Ford, the dirty little coward,I wonder how he does feel,For he ate of Jesse's bread and he slept inJesse's bed,Then he laid Jesse James in his grave.(Anonymous)

Learn more about refrain with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Word Value for refrain

10
11
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