Refrain - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |rɪˈfreɪn|  American pronunciation of the word refrain
Brit.  |rɪˈfreɪn|  British pronunciation of the word refrain


- the part of a song where a soloist is joined by a group of singers (syn: chorus)


- resist doing something(syn: forbear)
- choose not to consume (syn: abstain, desist)


I was going to make a joke but I refrained.

A common refrain among teachers these days is that the schools need more funding.

...I didn't know the verses of the song, so I only sang on the refrain....

I can't refrain from returning there.

The people were asked to refrain from baths while water was scarce.

Please refrain from smoking in this area.

Our proposal met with the constant refrain that the company could not afford it.

How shall I refrain from tears when we part?

He refrained from hitting him back

...don't even try to extenuate their vandalism of the cemetery with the old refrain of “Boys will be boys”... charming as your mutual mirth is, could you refrain from nudging each other and giggling during class?...

...the judge directed the courtroom spectators to refrain from any outbursts when the verdict was read...

...she can no more refrain from intermeddling than she can from breathing...

Word forms

I/you/we/they: refrain
he/she/it: refrains
present participle: refraining
past tense: refrained
past participle: refrained
singular: refrain
plural: refrains
See also:  WebsterWiktionaryLongman