Abstention vs. Abstinence

Abstention = refusal to vote, abstaining

  • In the election to the local council, there were three abstentions.
  • There were ten votes in favour, three against and two abstentions.
  • Political parties are expecting high levels of abstention in the forthcoming elections.

Abstinence = the practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something, typically alcohol or sex; teetotalism; temperance; self-restraint etc.

  • He started drinking after ten years of abstinence.
  • She observed two days of abstinence from food and drink as penance for wrongdoing.
  • Among birth control methods , abstinence from sex is equally effective as artificial contraceptive devices.
  • Abstinence can be resorted to against unwanted pregnancies.

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