Re*frain", n. [F. refrain, fr. OF. refraindre; cf. Pr. refranhs a refrain, refranher to repeat. See Refract,Refrain, v.] 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.

We hear the wild refrain.

Re*frain", v. i. 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 v. 38.

They refrained therefrom [eating flesh] some time after.
Sir T. Browne.

Syn. -- To hold back; forbear; abstain; withhold.

Re*frain" (r?*fr?n"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Refrained (-fr?nd"); p. pr. & vb/ n. Refraining.] [OE. refreinen, OF. refrener, F. refr?ner, fr. L. refrenare; influenced by OF. refraindre to restrain, moderate, fr. LL. refrangere, for L. refringere to break up, break (see Refract). L. refrenare is fr. pref. re- back + frenum bridle; cf. Skr. dh? to hold.] 1. To hold back; to restrain; to keep within prescribed bounds; to curb; to govern.

His reson refraineth not his foul delight or talent.

Refrain thy foot from their path.
Prov. i. 15.

2. To abstain from [Obs.]

Who, requiring a remedy for his gout, received no other counsel than to refrain cold drink.
Sir T. Browne.