To hold back; to restrain; to keep within prescribed bounds; to curb; to govern.
- To hold oneself back; forbear: refrained from swearing.
- Archaic To restrain or hold back; curb.
- A phrase, verse, or group of verses repeated at intervals throughout a song or poem, especially at the end of each stanza.
- Music for the refrain of a poem.
- A song or melody.
- A repeated utterance or theme.