The act of abstaining a keeping aloof
- the trait of abstaining (especially from alcoholic beverages)
- The act of abstaining; a holding aloof.
Refusal, in one bankruptcy courtroom, to find yourself in a matter of another courtroom with jurisdiction
1520s, from Middle French abstention (Old French astencion), from belated Latin abstentionem (nominative abstentio) "the act of retaining," noun of activity from past participle stem of Latin abstinere "keep straight back, hold off, wait" (see abstain).
(a.) The act of abstaining; a holding aloof.
Continued abstention from speech, and constant avoidance of everything that might lead up to the subject--this halting on all sides at the boundary of what they might not mention--brought before their minds with still greater purity and clearness what they were both feeling.