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a regularly recurring melody, such as the chorus of a song



(1) In poetry, a line or group of lines repeated at the end of a couplet. A refrain that forms an entire stanza is generally termed a pripev. The refrain and pripev developed in folk songs, in which the zapev (lead-in) was usually sung by a soloist and the refrain by the chorus. The refrain and zapev then entered literature, mainly genres that were meant to be sung or that were stylized in the manner of folklore. Such fixed verse forms as the triolet, rondeau, rondel, and French ballad are based on refrains.

(2) In music, a theme in an instrumental or vocal work that is stated at least three times and that unites the work structurally. It is characteristic of the rondo and rondo-like forms. Sometimes a refrain becomes the dominant theme and is repeated to emphasize a particularly important idea in the work.

References in periodicals archive ?
Since you have a right not to have your arm broken, refrainment from assault is not Tony's to sell.
Refrainment from testifying, the giving of false testimony, or backing down from testimony are considered questionable violations.
On the other hand, Deputy Helo condemned Finance Minister' s obscene violation embodied in her refrainment from paying Lebanese Egyptian Gas dues.
He said that failure to participate in the elections means refrainment from exercising political rights which does not contribute to developing the democratic experience nor political development in Bahrain.