thought of apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances: an abstract idea.
expressing a quality or characteristic apart from any specific object or instance, as justice, poverty, and speed.
not applied or practical; theoretical: abstract science.
difficult to understand; abstruse: abstract speculations.
of or relating to the formal aspect of art, emphasizing lines, colors, generalized or geometrical forms, etc., especially with reference to their relationship to one another.
Often Abstract . pertaining to the nonrepresentational art styles of the 20th century.
a summary of a text, scientific article, document, speech, etc.; epitome.
something that concentrates in itself the essential qualities of anything more extensive or more general, or of several things; essence.
an idea or term considered apart from some material basis or object.
an abstract work of art.
Idioms about abstract
abstract away from, to omit from consideration.
in the abstract, without reference to a specific object or instance; in theory: beauty in the abstract.
- ab·stract·er, noun
- ab·stract·ly, adverb
- ab·stract·ness, noun
- non·ab·stract, adjective, noun
- non·ab·stract·ly, adverb
- non·ab·stract·ness, noun
- o·ver·ab·stract, verb (used with object), adjective
- pre·ab·stract, adjective
- su·per·ab·stract, adjective
- su·per·ab·stract·ly, adverb
- su·per·ab·stract·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use abstract in a sentence
In a pursuit whose meaning and purpose is abstract at the best of times, that’s not nothing.
“Our models can validate thousands of unseen candidates in seconds,” the study’s authors wrote in the abstract to their paper, which appears in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.50 new planets, including one as big as Neptune, are identified using A.I. | rhhackettfortune | August 26, 2020 | Fortune
It also makes it more real and concrete, rather than abstract.Hurricanes have names. Some climate experts say heat waves should, too | Jack J. Lee | August 14, 2020 | Science News
The same applies in fields of biology dealing with more abstract concepts of the individual — entities that emerge as distinct patterns within larger schemes of behavior or activity.What Is an Individual? Biology Seeks Clues in Information Theory. | Jordana Cepelewicz | July 16, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
The Ising model represents one of the simplest places in this abstract “theory space,” and so serves as a proving ground for developing novel tools for exploring uncharted territory.The Cartoon Picture of Magnets That Has Transformed Science | Charlie Wood | June 24, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
These matters are not mere threats to abstract constitutional principles.Politicians Only Love Journalists When They're Dead | Luke O’Neil | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Do you think that as we get older our thoughts shift to the more abstract, the music, than the definite, the lyrics?
To listeners, Adnan is a real human while Jay remains an abstract figure.The Deal With Serial’s Jay? He’s Pissed Off, Mucks Up Our Timeline | Emily Shire | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In the mindset of the Coexist camp, those abstract beliefs have become twisted things, wrapped up with hate.
“There will be flashbacks to that day, but I think it will be a reasonably abstract performance,” Berger said.
This work is now lost, and we know it only by the abstract given by Photius in the passage quoted.
If you are thinking of making an abstract of a particular book, awaken the utmost interest in regard to it before you begin.
Any other work of which an abstract is published will serve the student as well as the above.
Three things are required: To learn how to abstract; To make one, at least, such abstract; and To learn it when made.
He never made any attempt to learn the abstract science of war, and until stirred by danger his character seemed to slumber.Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
British Dictionary definitions for abstract
having no reference to material objects or specific examples; not concrete
not applied or practical; theoretical
hard to understand; recondite; abstruse
denoting art characterized by geometric, formalized, or otherwise nonrepresentational qualities
defined in terms of its formal properties: an abstract machine
philosophy (of an idea) functioning for some empiricists as the meaning of a general term: the word ``man'' does not name all men but the abstract idea of manhood
a condensed version of a piece of writing, speech, etc; summary
an abstract term or idea
an abstract painting, sculpture, etc
in the abstract without reference to specific circumstances or practical experience
to think of (a quality or concept) generally without reference to a specific example; regard theoretically
to form (a general idea) by abstraction
(ˈæbstrækt) (also intr) to summarize or epitomize
to remove or extract
euphemistic to steal
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