Definitions for: Abstract


[n] a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance; "he loved her only in the abstract--not in person"
[n] a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory
[adj] dealing with a subject in the abstract without practical purpose or intention; "abstract reasoning"; "abstract science"
[adj] existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment; "abstract words like `truth' and `justice'"
[adj] based on specialized theory; "a theoretical analysis"
[adj] not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature; "a large abstract painting"
[v] consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically
[v] consider apart from a particular case or instance; "Let's abstract away from this particular example"
[v] give an abstract (of)
[v] make off with belongings of others



Webster (1913) Definition: Ab"stract` (#; 277), a. [L. abstractus, p. p. of
abstrahere to draw from, separate; ab, abs + trahere to draw.
See Trace.]
1. Withdraw; separate. [Obs.]

The more abstract . . . we are from the body.
--Norris.

2. Considered apart from any application to a particular
object; separated from matter; existing in the mind only;
as, abstract truth, abstract numbers. Hence: ideal;
abstruse; difficult.

3. (Logic)
(a) Expressing a particular property of an object viewed
apart from the other properties which constitute it;
-- opposed to concrete; as, honesty is an abstract
word. --J. S. Mill.
(b) Resulting from the mental faculty of abstraction;
general as opposed to particular; as, ``reptile'' is
an abstract or general name. --Locke.

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. --J. S. Mill.

4. Abstracted; absent in mind. ``Abstract, as in a trance.''
--Milton.

An abstract idea (Metaph.), an idea separated from a
complex object, or from other ideas which naturally
accompany it; as the solidity of marble when contemplated
apart from its color or figure.

Abstract terms, those which express abstract ideas, as
beauty, whiteness, roundness, without regarding any object
in which they exist; or abstract terms are the names of
orders, genera or species of things, in which there is a
combination of similar qualities.

Abstract numbers (Math.), numbers used without application
to things, as 6, 8, 10; but when applied to any thing, as
6 feet, 10 men, they become concrete.

Abstract or Pure mathematics. See Mathematics.


Ab*stract", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Abstracted; p. pr.
& vb. n. Abstracting.] [See Abstract, a.]
1. To withdraw; to separate; to take away.

He was incapable of forming any opinion or
resolution abstracted from his own prejudices. --Sir
W. Scott.

2. To draw off in respect to interest or attention; as, his
was wholly abstracted by other objects.

The young stranger had been abstracted and silent.
--Blackw. Mag.

3. To separate, as ideas, by the operation of the mind; to
consider by itself; to contemplate separately, as a
quality or attribute. --Whately.

4. To epitomize; to abridge. --Franklin.

5. To take secretly or dishonestly; to purloin; as, to
abstract goods from a parcel, or money from a till.

Von Rosen had quietly abstracted the bearing-reins
from the harness. --W. Black.

6. (Chem.) To separate, as the more volatile or soluble parts
of a substance, by distillation or other chemical
processes. In this sense extract is now more generally
used.


Ab*stract", v. t.
To perform the process of abstraction. [R.]

I own myself able to abstract in one sense. --Berkeley.


Ab"stract`, n. [See Abstract, a.]
1. That which comprises or concentrates in itself the
essential qualities of a larger thing or of several
things. Specifically: A summary or an epitome, as of a
treatise or book, or of a statement; a brief.

An abstract of every treatise he had read. --Watts.

Man, the abstract Of all perfection, which the
workmanship Of Heaven hath modeled. --Ford.

2. A state of separation from other things; as, to consider a
subject in the abstract, or apart from other associated
things.

3. An abstract term.

The concretes ``father'' and ``son'' have, or might
have, the abstracts ``paternity'' and ``filiety.''
--J. S. Mill.

4. (Med.) A powdered solid extract of a vegetable substance
mixed with sugar of milk in such proportion that one part
of the abstract represents two parts of the original
substance.

Abstract of title (Law), an epitome of the evidences of
ownership.

Syn: Abridgment; compendium; epitome; synopsis. See
Abridgment.

Synonyms: abstraction, abstractionist, cabbage, conceptional, conceptual, filch, hook, ideal, ideational, lift, nobble, nonfigurative, nonobjective, notional, outline, pilfer, pinch, precis, purloin, snarf, sneak, swipe, synopsis, technical, theoretical

Antonyms: concrete

See Also: absolute, apercu, brief, concept, conception, consider, construct, deal, epitome, impalpable, intangible, look at, nonrepresentational, reckon, regard, resume, right, see, steal, sum up, summarise, summarize, summary, take, teacher, thing, view

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