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  1. 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. As enjoined by a chorus.
We hear the wild refrain. Whittier.
  • French:
    1. French, refrain
    2. Dutch: refrein
    3. German: Refrain
  1. (transitive) To hold back; to restrain; to keep within prescribed bounds; to curb; to govern.
    His reson refraineth not his foul delight or talent. w:Geoffrey_Chaucer, Chaucer
    Refrain thy foot from their path. - Proverbs i:15.
  2. (transitive) To abstain from
    Who, requiring a remedy for his gout, received no other counsel than to refrain cold drink. - w:Thomas Browne, Thomas Browne
  3. (intransitive) 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 5:38.
    They refrained therefrom eating flesh some time after. - w:Thomas Browne, Thomas Browne.

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