How are these two words different?

• total abstinence from strong drink

• abstention from intoxicating drinks

1 Answer 1


Abstinence from something refers to "intentionally avoiding something". Typically it is used for intoxicants, meat, and sex.

Abstention is a synonym of abstinence. However, this word is primarily used for abstaining from voting (such as during elections)


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.