abstraction /əbˈstrakʃ(ə)n/


I. noun [ mass noun]

1. the quality of dealing with ideas rather than events

topics will vary in degrees of abstraction.
2. [ count noun] something which exists only as an idea

the question can no longer be treated as an academic abstraction.
3. freedom from representational qualities in art

geometric abstraction has been a mainstay in her work.
4. [ count noun] an abstract work of art.

critics sought the meaning of O’Keeffe’s abstractions.
a series of black-and-white abstractions.
5. a state of preoccupation

she sensed his momentary abstraction.
6. the process of considering something independently of its associations or attributes

the question cannot be considered in abstraction from the historical context in which it was raised.
7. the process of removing something, especially water from a river or other source.

the abstraction of water from springs and wells.
[ count noun]
abstractions from the Lowther in Cumbria.
– origin late Middle English: from Latin abstractio(n-), from the verb abstrahere ‘draw away’ (see abstract).

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