refrain


Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

re·frain 1

 (rĭ-frān′)
intr.v.
To hold oneself back; forbear from doing something: refrained from swearing.

[Middle English refreinen, from Old French refrener, to restrain, from Latin refrēnāre : re-, re- + frēnāre, to restrain (from frēnum, bridle, from frendere, to grind; see ghrendh- in Indo-European roots).]

re·frain′er n.
re·frain′ment n.

re·frain 2

 (rĭ-frān′)
n.
1.
a. A phrase, verse, or group of verses repeated at intervals throughout a song or poem, especially at the end of each stanza.
b. Music for the refrain of a song.
2. A song or melody.
3. A repeated utterance or theme.

[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; see refract.]

refrain

(rɪˈfreɪn)
vb
(usually foll by: from) to abstain (from action); forbear
[C14: from Latin refrēnāre to check with a bridle, from re- + frēnum a bridle]
reˈfrainer n
reˈfrainment n

refrain

(rɪˈfreɪn)
n
1. (Music, other) a regularly recurring melody, such as the chorus of a song
2. a much repeated saying or idea
[C14: via Old French, ultimately from Latin refringere to break into pieces]

re•frain1

(rɪˈfreɪn)

v.i.
1. to keep oneself from doing or saying something (often fol. by from).
v.t.
2. Archaic. to curb.
[1300–50; Middle English refreinen < Old French refrener < Latin refrēnāre to rein in, restrain =re- re- + -frēnāre, v. derivative of frēnum bridle]
re•frain′ment, n.

re•frain2

(rɪˈfreɪn)

n.
1. a phrase or verse recurring at intervals in a song or poem, esp. at the end of each stanza; chorus.
2.
a. a musical setting for a poetic refrain.
b. melody; tune.
c. the recurrent section of a rondo.
[1325–75; Middle English refreyne < Old French refrain, n. derivative of refraindre to break sequence < Vulgar Latin *refrangere, for Latin refringere to break back]

refrain

  • ballade - A verse or poem made up of three stanzas of equal length with a recurrent line or refrain at the end of each of the stanzas.
  • condone - From Latin condonare, "refrain from punishing," it does not mean "approve of, endorse"; it means "let something pass without interference even though you probably disapprove," or "pardon, forgive, overlook."
  • burden, refrain, chorus - The burden is the main theme or gist of a speech, book, or argument—or the refrain or chorus of a song.
  • deport - The earliest sense of deport was "bear with; refrain."

refrain


Past participle: refrained
Gerund: refraining

Imperative
refrain
refrain
Present
I refrain
you refrain
he/she/it refrains
we refrain
you refrain
they refrain
Preterite
I refrained
you refrained
he/she/it refrained
we refrained
you refrained
they refrained
Present Continuous
I am refraining
you are refraining
he/she/it is refraining
we are refraining
you are refraining
they are refraining
Present Perfect
I have refrained
you have refrained
he/she/it has refrained
we have refrained
you have refrained
they have refrained
Past Continuous
I was refraining
you were refraining
he/she/it was refraining
we were refraining
you were refraining
they were refraining
Past Perfect
I had refrained
you had refrained
he/she/it had refrained
we had refrained
you had refrained
they had refrained
Future
I will refrain
you will refrain
he/she/it will refrain
we will refrain
you will refrain
they will refrain
Future Perfect
I will have refrained
you will have refrained
he/she/it will have refrained
we will have refrained
you will have refrained
they will have refrained
Future Continuous
I will be refraining
you will be refraining
he/she/it will be refraining
we will be refraining
you will be refraining
they will be refraining
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been refraining
you have been refraining
he/she/it has been refraining
we have been refraining
you have been refraining
they have been refraining
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been refraining
you will have been refraining
he/she/it will have been refraining
we will have been refraining
you will have been refraining
they will have been refraining
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been refraining
you had been refraining
he/she/it had been refraining
we had been refraining
you had been refraining
they had been refraining
Conditional
I would refrain
you would refrain
he/she/it would refrain
we would refrain
you would refrain
they would refrain
Past Conditional
I would have refrained
you would have refrained
he/she/it would have refrained
we would have refrained
you would have refrained
they would have refrained

refrain

A phrase, line, or group of lines repeated through a poem, usually at the end of each stanza.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.refrain - the part of a song where a soloist is joined by a group of singers
music - an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
song, vocal - a short musical composition with words; "a successful musical must have at least three good songs"
tra-la, tra-la-la - a set of nonsensical syllables used while humming a refrain
Verb1.refrain - resist doing something; "He refrained from hitting him back"; "she could not forbear weeping"
leave alone, leave behind, leave - leave unchanged or undisturbed or refrain from taking; "leave it as is"; "leave the young fawn alone"; "leave the flowers that you see in the park behind"
let it go - not act; "He thought of a reply but let it go"
abstain - refrain from voting
spare, save - refrain from harming
forbear, hold back - refrain from doing; "she forbore a snicker"
help oneself, help - abstain from doing; always used with a negative; "I can't help myself--I have to smoke"; "She could not help watching the sad spectacle"
stand by - not act or do anything; "He just stood by when the police beat up the demonstrators"
sit out - not participate in (an activity, such as a dance or a sports event); "He sat out the game"
act, move - perform an action, or work out or perform (an action); "think before you act"; "We must move quickly"; "The governor should act on the new energy bill"; "The nanny acted quickly by grabbing the toddler and covering him with a wet towel"
2.refrain - choose not to consumerefrain - choose not to consume; "I abstain from alcohol"
fast - abstain from eating; "Before the medical exam, you must fast"
fast - abstain from certain foods, as for religious or medical reasons; "Catholics sometimes fast during Lent"
keep off, avoid - refrain from certain foods or beverages; "I keep off drugs"; "During Ramadan, Muslims avoid tobacco during the day"
teetotal - practice teetotalism and abstain from the consumption of alcoholic beverages

refrain

1
verb stop, avoid, give up, cease, do without, renounce, abstain, eschew, leave off, desist, forbear, kick (informal) She refrained from making any comment.

refrain

2
noun chorus, song, tune, melody a refrain from an old song

refrain

verb
To hold oneself back:
Translations
لازِمَهيَمْتَنِع عن
refrénzdržet se
refrænundladeomkvæd
kertosäe
halda aftur af sérviîlag, stef
atturētiespiedziedājums

refrain

1 [rɪˈfreɪn] N (Mus) → estribillo m
his constant refrain issiempre está con la misma canción ...

refrain

2 [rɪˈfreɪn] VI to refrain from sth/from doing sthabstenerse de algo/de hacer algo
I couldn't refrain from laughingno pude contener la risa

refrain

[rɪˈfreɪn]
vis'abstenir
to refrain from doing sth → s'abstenir de faire qch
to refrain from sth → s'abstenir de qch
n
(= often-repeated comment) → refrain m
(= melody) → refrain m

refrain

1
vi please refrain!bitte unterlassen Sie das!; he refrained from commenter enthielt sich eines Kommentars; they refrained from such actionssie sahen von einem solchen Vorgehen ab; I couldn’t refrain from laughingich konnte mir das Lachen nicht verkneifen; kindly refrain from saying that in front of the childrenwürden Sie das bitte nicht vor den Kindern sagen; please refrain from smokingbitte nicht rauchen!

refrain

2
n (Mus, Poet, fig) → Refrain m

refrain

1 [rɪˈfreɪn] n (Mus) → ritornello, refrain m inv

refrain

2 [rɪˈfreɪn] vi to refrain from sth/from doing sthastenersi or trattenersi da qc/dal fare qc

refrain1

(rəˈfrein) noun
a line of words or music repeated regularly in a song, especially at the end of or after each verse; a chorus.

refrain2

(rəˈfrein) verb
(with from) not to do; to avoid. You are asked to refrain from smoking / from (drinking) alcohol.
References in classic literature ?
More especially is this the case with those whose lines breathe sadness, where the refrain comes like a sigh at the end of a regret:
He then said to himself, "I shall no longer distress myself at being struck at by these Gamecocks, when I see that they cannot even refrain from quarreling with each other.
All pleasures palled upon me; all sights tantalized and tempted me to outspoken treason, because I could not but compare what I saw in Two Dimensions with what it really was if seen in Three, and could hardly refrain from making my comparisons aloud.
To refrain from intercepting an enemy whose banners are in perfect order, to refrain from attacking an army drawn up in calm and confident array:--this is the art of studying circumstances.
Let the beautiful word come as a refrain to and fro this chapter.
Napoleon began the war with Russia because he could not resist going to Dresden, could not help having his head turned by the homage he received, could not help donning a Polish uniform and yielding to the stimulating influence of a June morning, and could not refrain from bursts of anger in the presence of Kurakin and then of Balashev.
The voice, the notes, the whole refrain haunted her memory.
In returning the extracts sent with it, he will refrain from mentioning any personal objection which he may entertain to this species of literature, and will merely say that the proposed additions to the manuscript are not necessary to the fulfilment of the purpose that he has in view.
Four little names, one on each lid, Carved out by a boyish hand, And underneath there lieth hid Histories of the happpy band Once playing here, and pausing oft To hear the sweet refrain, That came and went on the roof aloft, In the falling summer rain.
Upon consulting his compass, Kennedy could not refrain from saying:
It was evident that he was being warned to refrain from desecrating this particular room.
These ballads often had a chorus or refrain in which every one joined.