- The act of declining to vote on a particular issue. [First attested in the late 19th century.]
- The act of abstaining; a holding aloof; refraining from. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
- (obsolete) The act of restraining oneself. [Attested from the early 16th century until the med 17th century.]
- Non-participation in the political world; as a country avoiding international affairs.