Refrain vs Contain - What's the difference?

refrain | contain |

As a noun refrain

is .

As a verb contain is

(lb) to hold inside.



Etymology 1

From a combination of (etyl) refraindre, (etyl) refreindre (from (etyl) refrangere), and (etyl) refrener, (etyl) refrener (from (etyl) refrenare).


(en verb)
  • (archaic) To hold back, to restrain (someone or something).
  • * Proverbs i:15 .
  • Refrain thy foot from their path.
  • (reflexive, archaic) To show restraint; to hold oneself back.
  • * 1526 , (William Tyndale), trans. Bible , Acts V:
  • And nowe I saye unto you: refrayne youreselves from these men, and let them alone [...].
  • *
  • his reson aperceyueth it wel that it is synne / agayns the lawe of god / and yet his reson / refreyneth nat his foul delit or talent.
  • * Bible, Proverbs i. 15
  • Refrain thy foot from their path.
  • To stop oneself (from) some action or interference; to abstain.
  • * Bible, Acts v. 38
  • Refrain from these men, and let them alone.
  • * Sir Thomas Browne
  • They refrained therefrom [eating flesh] some time after.
  • *
  • Who, requiring a remedy for his gout, received no other counsel than to refrain cold drink.

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) refrain, from the (etyl) verb . See refract and the verb refrain.


    (wikipedia refrain) (en noun)
  • The chorus or burden of a song repeated at the end of each verse or stanza.
  • We hear the wild refrain . Whittier.
  • A much repeated comment, complaint, or saying.
  • References



    * ----




    (en verb)
  • (lb) To hold inside.
  • *
  • At half-past nine on this Saturday evening, the parlour of the Salutation Inn, High Holborn, contained most of its customary visitors.In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-20, volume=408, issue=8845, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Welcome to the plastisphere , passage=[The researchers] noticed many of their pieces of [plastic marine] debris sported surface pits around two microns across. Such pits are about the size of a bacterial cell. Closer examination showed that some of these pits did, indeed, contain bacteria,
  • (lb) To include as a part.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2014-04-21, volume=411, issue=8884, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Subtle effects , passage=Manganism has been known about since the 19th century, when miners exposed to ores containing manganese, a silvery metal, began to totter, slur their speech and behave like someone inebriated.}}
  • (lb) To put constraint upon; to restrain; to confine; to keep within bounds.
  • * (Edmund Spenser) (c.1552–1599)
  • The king's person contains the unruly people from evil occasions.
  • * (William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • Fear not, my lord: we can contain ourselves.
  • *
  • Athelstan Arundel walked home all the way, foaming and raging. No omnibus, cab, or conveyance ever built could contain a young man in such a rage. His mother lived at Pembridge Square, which is four good measured miles from Lincoln's Inn.
  • To have as an element.
  • To restrain desire; to live in continence or chastity.
  • * Bible, vii. 9.
  • But if they can not contain , let them marry.


    * (hold inside) enclose, inhold * (include as part) comprise, embody, incorporate, inhold * (limit by restraint) control, curb, repress, restrain, restrict, stifle


    * (include as part) exclude, omit * (limit by restraint) release, vent