- hard to understand; recondite; esoteric: abstruse theories.
- Obsolete. secret; hidden.
Origin of abstruse
1590–1600; < Latin abstrūsus thrust away, concealed (past participle of abstrūdere), equivalent to abs- abs- + trūd- thrust + -tus past participle suffix
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. incomprehensible, unfathomable, arcane.
1. clear, uncomplicated, simple; obvious.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for abstruse
More interesting than these abstruse ruminations were her political instincts at the conclusion of the formal broadcast.Republicans Show Strong Political Instincts
June 14, 2011
Ordinary people may fear there is some abstruse science about this.Albert Durer
T. Sturge Moore
This abstruse notion is the foundation of the Hegelian logic.Parmenides
With scholars and philosophers they held their own in abstruse and abstract discussions.An American Suffragette
Isaac N. Stevens
And she, following, applied herself to the most abstruse of Art-studies.Olive
Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
An abstruse, ancient classic, usually called the Book of Changes.The Sayings Of Confucius
- not easy to understand; recondite; esoteric
C16: from Latin abstrūsus thrust away, concealed, from abs- ab- 1 + trūdere to thrust
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for abstruse
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper