abstract[for adj., ab strakt′, ab′strakt′; for n.1 & vt.4, ab′strakt′; for n.2, ab′strakt′, ab strakt′; for vt.1, 2, & 3, ab strakt′]
- Abstract is defined as something that is not physical or concrete.
An example of abstract is the idea of justice.
- The definition of an abstract is a summary of a written work.
An example of an abstract is a written description of the findings of a scientific study.
- Abstract means to remove it or take it away.
An example of abstract is to take salt out of sea water.
Justice is an abtract concept.
- thought of apart from any particular instances or material objects; not concrete
- expressing a quality thought of apart from any particular or material object: beauty is an abstract word
- not easy to understand because of being extremely complex, remote from concrete reality, etc.; abstruse
- theoretical; not practical or applied
- designating or of art abstracted from reality, in which designs or forms may be definite and geometric or fluid and amorphous: a generic term that encompasses various nonrealistic contemporary schools
Origin of abstract; from Classical Latin abstractus, past participle of abstrahere, to draw from, separate ; from ab(s)-, from + trahere, to draw
- a brief statement of the essential content of a book, article, speech, court record, etc.; summary
- an abstract thing, condition, idea, etc.
- to take away; remove
- to take dishonestly; steal
- to think of (a quality) apart from any particular instance or material object that has it; also, to form (a general idea) from particular instances
- to summarize; make an abstract of
in the abstract
- Considered apart from concrete existence: an abstract concept.
- Not applied or practical; theoretical.
- Difficult to understand; abstruse: abstract philosophical problems.
- Denoting something that is immaterial, conceptual, or nonspecific, as an idea or quality: abstract words like truth and justice.
- Impersonal, as in attitude or views.
- Having an intellectual and affective artistic content that depends solely on intrinsic form rather than on narrative content or pictorial representation: abstract painting and sculpture.
- A statement summarizing the important points of a text.
- Something abstract.
- An abstract of title.
transitive verbab·stract·ed, ab·stract·ing, ab·stracts
- a. To take away; remove: abstract the most important data from a set of records.b. To remove without permission; steal: a painting that was abstracted from the museum.
- To consider (an idea, for example) as separate from particular examples or objects: abstract a principle of arrangement from a series of items.
- To write a summary of; summarize: abstract a long article in a paragraph.
- To create artistic abstractions of (something else, such as a concrete object or another style): “The Bauhaus Functionalists were &ellipsis; busy unornamenting and abstracting modern architecture, painting and design” (John Barth).
Origin of abstractMiddle English, from Latin abstractus, past participle of abstrahere, to draw away : abs-, ab-, away; see ab–1 + trahere, to draw.
- An abridgement or summary. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
- Isaac Watts — An abstract of every treatise he had read.
- Something that concentrates in itself the qualities of larger item, or multiple items. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
- Ford — Man, the abstract Of all perfection, which the workmanship Of Heaven hath modeled.
- An abstraction; an abstract term; that which is abstract. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
- John Stuart Mill — The concretes "father" and "son" have, or might have, the abstracts "paternity" and "filiety".
- The theoretical way of looking at things; something that exists only in idealized form. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
- (art) An abstract work of art. [First attested in the early 20th century.]
- (real estate) A summary title of the key points detailing a tract of land, for ownership; abstract of title.
- (theoretical way of looking at things): Preceded, typically, by the.
(comparative more abstract or abstracter, superlative most abstract or abstractest)
- (now rare) Drawn away; removed from; apart from; separate. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
- Expressing a property or attribute separately of an object that is considered to be inherent to that object. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
- Considered apart from any application to a particular object; not concrete; ideal; non-specific; general, as opposed to specific. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
- John Stuart Mill - A concrete name is a name which stands for a thing; an abstract name which stands for an attribute of a thing. A practice has grown up in more modern times, which, if not introduced by Locke, has gained currency from his example, of applying the expression "abstract name" to all names which are the result of abstraction and generalization, and consequently to all general names, instead of confining it to the names of attributes.
- Difficult to understand; abstruse; hard to conceptualize. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
- (archaic) Absent-minded. [First attested in the early 16th century.]
- (art) Pertaining to the formal aspect of art, such as the lines, colors, shapes, and the relationships among them. [First attested in the mid 19th century.]
- (art, often capitalized) Free from representational qualities, in particular the non-representational styles of the 20th century. [First attested in the mid 19th century.]
- (music) Absolute.
- (dance) Lacking a story.
- Insufficiently factual.
- Apart from practice or reality; vague; theoretical; impersonal; not applied.
- (grammar) As a noun, denoting an intangible as opposed to an object, place, or person.
- (computing) Of a class in object-oriented programming, being a partial basis for subclasses rather than a complete template for objects.
(third-person singular simple present abstracts, present participle abstracting, simple past and past participle abstracted)
- To separate; to disengage. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
- Walter Scott - He was incapable of forming any opinion or resolution abstracted from his own prejudices.
- To remove; to take away; withdraw. [First attested in the late 15th century.]
- (euphemistic) To steal; to take away; to remove without permission. [First attested in the late 15th century.]
- W. Black - Von Rosen had quietly abstracted the bearing-reins from the harness.
- To summarize; to abridge; to epitomize. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
- To consider abstractly; to contemplate separately or by itself; to consider theoretically; to look at as a general quality. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
- (intransitive, reflexive, literally figuratively) To withdraw oneself; to retire. [First attested in the mid 17th century.]
- To draw off (interest or attention).
- William Blackwood, Blackwood's Magazine - The young stranger had been abstracted and silent.
- He was wholly abstracted by other objects.
- (intransitive, rare) To perform the process of abstraction.
- George Berkeley - I own myself able to abstract in one sense.
- (intransitive, fine arts) To create abstractions.
- (intransitive, computing) To produce an abstraction, usually by refactoring existing code. Generally used with "out".
- He abstracted out the square root function.
- (to separate or disengage): Followed by the word from.
- (to withdraw oneself): Followed by the word from.
- (to summarize): Pronounced predominately as /ˈæbˌstrækt/.
- All other senses are pronounced as /æbˈstrækt/.
First attested in 1542. Partly from English abstract (adjective form), and from Latin abstrat past participle of abstrahō (“to draw away”).