abstract

a

I. adjective abstract /ˈabstrakt /

1. existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence

abstract concepts such as love or beauty.
2. dealing with ideas rather than events

the novel was too abstract and esoteric to sustain much attention.
3. not based on a particular instance; theoretical

we have been discussing the problem in a very abstract manner.
4. (of a noun) denoting an idea, quality, or state rather than a concrete object.
5. relating to or denoting art that does not attempt to represent external reality, but rather seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, colours, and textures.

abstract pictures.
II. verb [with obj.] abstract /əbˈstrakt /

1. ( abstract something from) consider something theoretically or separately from (something else)

to abstract science and religion from their historical context can lead to anachronism.
2. (usu. abstract something from) extract or remove (something)

applications to abstract more water from streams.
3. used euphemistically to indicate that someone has stolen something

his pockets contained all he had been able to abstract from the flat.
4. ( abstract oneself) withdraw

as our relationship deepened you seemed to abstract yourself.
5. make a written summary of (an article or book)

staff who abstract material for an online database.
III. noun abstract /ˈabstrakt /

1. a summary of the contents of a book, article, or speech

an abstract of her speech.
2. an abstract work of art

a big unframed abstract.
IV. phrases

in the abstract
in a general way; without reference to specific instances.

there’s a fine line between promoting US business interests in the abstract and promoting specific companies.
V. derivatives

1. abstractly /ˈabstraktli /
adverb


2. abstractor /abˈstraktə /
noun


– origin Middle English: from Latin abstractus, literally ‘drawn away’, past participle of abstrahere, from ab- ‘from’ + trahere ‘draw off’.

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