abstention (n.) Look up abstention at Dictionary.com
1520s, "a holding off, refusal to do something," from Middle French abstention (Old French astencion), from Late Latin abstentionem (nominative abstentio) "the act of retaining," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin abstinere/abstenere "withhold, keep back, keep off," from ab(s)- "from, away from" (see ab-) + tenere "to hold," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch" (see tenet). As "a refraining from voting" by 1880.