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).