- 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 initial capital letter)pertaining to the nonrepresentational art styles of the 20th century.
verb (used with object)
Origin of abstract
Related Words for abstractingphilosophical, unreal, hypothetical, abstruse, ideal, complex, deep, intellectual, compendium, condensation, outline, brief, summary, synopsis, conspectus, digest, abridgment, dissociate, disconnect, separate
Examples from the Web for abstracting
Historical Examples of abstracting
If you grasp it, by abstracting from it even being, you will be in ecstasy.Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 2
Now to deplete is to check growth by abstracting the very source of nutriment.The Horse's Mouth
Man has the happy faculty of abstracting his attention from things remote.Creed And Deed
But our mind knows by abstracting from such the species, that is, the universal.The Mediaeval Mind (Volume II of II)
Henry Osborn Taylor
Acquisition by agreement of right of abstracting water from the river.Boating
W. B. Woodgate
verb (æbˈstrækt) (tr)
Word Origin for abstract
"abridgement or summary of a document," mid-15c., from abstract (adj.). The general sense of "a smaller quantity containing the virtue or power of a greater" [Johnson] is recorded from 1560s.
1540s, from Latin abstractus or else from the adjective abstract. Related: Abstracted; abstracting, abstractedly.
late 14c., originally in grammar (of nouns), from Latin abstractus "drawn away," past participle of abstrahere "to drag away; detach divert," from ab(s)- "away" (see ab-) + trahere "draw" (see tract (n.1)).
Meaning "withdrawn or separated from material objects or practical matters" is from mid-15c. That of "difficult to understand, abstruse" is from c.1400. Specifically in reference to modern art, it dates from 1914; abstract expressionism as an American-based uninhibited approach to art exemplified by Jackson Pollack is from 1952, but the term itself had been used in the 1920s of Kandinsky and others.
Oswald Herzog, in an article on "Der Abstrakte Expressionismus" (Sturm, heft 50, 1919) gives us a statement which with equal felicity may be applied to the artistic attitude of the Dadaists. "Abstract Expressionism is perfect Expressionism," he writes. "It is pure creation. It casts spiritual processes into a corporeal mould. It does not borrow objects from the real world; it creates its own objects .... The abstract reveals the will of the artist; it becomes expression. ..." [William A. Drake, "The Life and Deeds of Dada," 1922]