What does abstain mean?
The definition of abstain
Ab*stain”, v. i.
[imp. & p. p. Abstained; p. pr. & vb. n.Abstaining.]
Etym: [OE. absteynen, abstenen, OF. astenir, abstenir, F. abstenir, fr. L. abstinere, abstentum, v. t. & v. i., to keep from; ab, abs + tenere to hold. See Tenable.]

To hold one’s self aloof; to forbear or refrain voluntarily, and especially from an indulgence of the passions or appetites; — with from. Not a few abstained from voting. Macaulay. Who abstains from meat that is not gaunt Shak.

Synonyms
— To refrain; forbear; withhold; deny one’s self; give up; relinquish.

Ab*stain”, v. t.
To hinder; to withhold. Whether he abstain men from marrying. Milton.