thought of apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances:
an abstract idea.
expressing a quality or characteristic apart from any specific object or instance, as justice, poverty, and speed.
theoretical; not applied or practical:
difficult to understand; abstruse:
of or relating to the formal aspect of art, emphasizing lines, colors, generalized or geometrical forms, etc., especially with reference to their relationship to one another.
(often initial capital letter) pertaining to the nonrepresentational art styles of the 20th century.
a summary of a text, scientific article, document, speech, etc.; epitome.
something that concentrates in itself the essential qualities of anything more extensive or more general, or of several things; essence.
an idea or term considered apart from some material basis or object.
an abstract work of art.
to draw or take away; remove.
to divert or draw away the attention of.
to consider as a general quality or characteristic apart from specific objects or instances:
to abstract the notions of time, space, and matter.
to make an abstract of; summarize.
abstract away from, to omit from consideration.
in the abstract, without reference to a specific object or instance; in theory:
beauty in the abstract.
What do you think it is, abstractly, that makes this period so absorbing?
How I Write: Erik Larson Revisits ‘Isaac’s Storm’ Noah Charney October 30, 2012
Here, however, one must follow closely what is said, not merely what is abstractly meant.
Instigations Ezra Pound
The study of rent puts this abstractly, but in a clear light.
The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
For that matter it is difficult for the majority of persons to even think of a number, abstractly.
Memory William Walker Atkinson
abstractly, it is said that virtue is its own reward—and it is.
The World’s Great Sermons, Volume 6: H. W. Beecher to Punshon Various
Many of them already declare these ideas to be abstractly just.
The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 94, August, 1865 Various
Meditation, abstractly considered, is neither a virtue nor a vice.
Monks, Popes, and their Political Intrigues John Alberger
abstractly it is no more important than the other odd thousand we work with.
The K-Factor Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
abstractly, and from the standpoint of conscience, he abhorred slavery.
Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1 (of 2) William H. Herndon
The highest form of character, however, abstractly considered, must be full of scruples and inhibitions.
Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life’s Ideals William James
having no reference to material objects or specific examples; not concrete
not applied or practical; theoretical
hard to understand; recondite; abstruse
denoting art characterized by geometric, formalized, or otherwise nonrepresentational qualities
defined in terms of its formal properties: an abstract machine
(philosophy) (of an idea) functioning for some empiricists as the meaning of a general term: the word “man” does not name all men but the abstract idea of manhood
a condensed version of a piece of writing, speech, etc; summary
an abstract term or idea
an abstract painting, sculpture, etc
in the abstract, without reference to specific circumstances or practical experience
verb (transitive) (æbˈstrækt)
to think of (a quality or concept) generally without reference to a specific example; regard theoretically
to form (a general idea) by abstraction
(also intransitive) (ˈæbstrækt). to summarize or epitomize
to remove or extract
(euphemistic) to steal
late 14c., “by itself, absolutely,” from abstract (adj.) + -ly (2).
late 14c., originally in grammar (of nouns), from Latin abstractus “drawn away,” past participle of abstrahere “to drag away; detach divert,” from ab(s)- “away” (see ab-) + trahere “draw” (see tract (n.1)).
Meaning “withdrawn or separated from material objects or practical matters” is from mid-15c. That of “difficult to understand, abstruse” is from c.1400. Specifically in reference to modern art, it dates from 1914; abstract expressionism as an American-based uninhibited approach to art exemplified by Jackson Pollack is from 1952, but the term itself had been used in the 1920s of Kandinsky and others.
Oswald Herzog, in an article on “Der Abstrakte Expressionismus” (Sturm, heft 50, 1919) gives us a statement which with equal felicity may be applied to the artistic attitude of the Dadaists. “Abstract Expressionism is perfect Expressionism,” he writes. “It is pure creation. It casts spiritual processes into a corporeal mould. It does not borrow objects from the real world; it creates its own objects …. The abstract reveals the will of the artist; it becomes expression. …” [William A. Drake, “The Life and Deeds of Dada,” 1922]
“abridgement or summary of a document,” mid-15c., from abstract (adj.). The general sense of “a smaller quantity containing the virtue or power of a greater” [Johnson] is recorded from 1560s.
1540s, from Latin abstractus or else from the adjective abstract. Related: Abstracted; abstracting, abstractedly.
abstract ab·stract (āb-strākt’, āb’strākt’)
Considered apart from concrete existence.
Not applied or practical; theoretical.
thought of apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances: an abstract idea. expressing a quality or characteristic apart from any specific object or instance, as justice, poverty, and speed. theoretical; not applied or practical: abstract science. difficult to understand; abstruse: abstract speculations. Fine Arts. of or relating to the formal aspect of art, […]
to undergo abstriction.
a method of spore formation in fungi in which successive portions of the sporophore are cut off through the growth of septa; abjunction. noun the separation and release of a mature spore from a sporophore by the formation of a septum. This process occurs in some fungi
hard to understand; recondite; esoteric: abstruse theories. Obsolete. secret; hidden. Contemporary Examples More interesting than these abstruse ruminations were her political instincts at the conclusion of the formal broadcast. Republicans Show Strong Political Instincts Michael Medved June 13, 2011 Historical Examples It was as if a child had suddenly propounded to an eminent mathematician some […]