- an abstract or general idea or term.
- the act of considering something as a general quality or characteristic, apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances.
- an impractical idea; something visionary and unrealistic.
- the act of taking away or separating; withdrawal: The sensation of cold is due to the abstraction of heat from our bodies.
- secret removal, especially theft.
- absent-mindedness; inattention; mental absorption.
- Fine Arts.
- the abstract qualities or characteristics of a work of art.
- a work of art, especially a nonrepresentational one, stressing formal relationships.
Origin of abstraction
Related Words for abstractionremoteness, contemplation, reflection, reverie, thinking, absorption, aloofness, detachment, engrossment, musing, trance, consideration, cogitation, preoccupation, brooding, entrancement, pensiveness, pondering, reflecting
Examples from the Web for abstraction
Contemporary Examples of abstraction
It frustrated her to hear other students discussing death as an abstraction, subject to simple moral rules.The Nurse Coaching People Through Death by Starvation
November 17, 2014
It is this kind of abstraction that leads to more mythology, more heroic narratives, more undertones of patriotic martyrdom.War Is About More Than Heroes, Martyrs, and Patriots
Nathan Bradley Bethea
November 12, 2014
In the many portraits, Picasso oscillates between naturalism and abstraction in his portraits of Jacqueline.Revealing The Unseen Picasso
November 3, 2014
Democrats have to stop allowing Republicans to define the election as an up or down vote on an abstraction called Obamacare.Democrats Must Run on Obamacare in November
March 17, 2014
Only someone already painfully unable to deal with abstraction would draw such a suicidal conclusion.Richard Hofstadter and America’s New Wave of Anti-Intellectualism
March 9, 2014
Historical Examples of abstraction
When Lester returned, he saw her standing by his desk, lost in an abstraction of grief.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
The latter was a curious example of what I have described as abstraction of color.Modern Painters Volume II (of V)
And the great aim of education is the cultivation of the habit of abstraction.The Republic
This abstraction is the far-off heaven on which the eye of the mind is fixed in fond amazement.Symposium
Another says, 'No, not fire in the abstract, but the abstraction of heat in the fire.'Cratylus
- absence of mind; preoccupation
- the process of formulating generalized ideas or concepts by extracting common qualities from specific examples
- an idea or concept formulated in this waygood and evil are abstractions
- logic an operator that forms a class name or predicate from any given expressionSee also lambda calculus
- an abstract painting, sculpture, etc
- the act of withdrawing or removing
Word Origin and History for abstraction
c.1400, "withdrawal from worldly affairs, asceticism," from Old French abstraction (14c.), from Latin abstractionem (nominative abstractio), noun of action from past participle stem of abstrahere (see abstract (adj.)). Meaning "idea of something that has no actual existence" is from 1640s.
- Distillation or separation of the volatile constituents of a substance.
- Exclusive mental concentration; absent-mindedness.
- A malocclusion in which the teeth or associated structures are lower than their normal occlusal plane.
- The selection of a certain aspect of a concept from the whole.