[ ab-stroos ]
/ æbˈstrus /


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
Related formsab·struse·ly, adverbab·struse·ness, noun
Can be confusedabstruse obtuse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for abstruse

British Dictionary definitions for abstruse


/ (əbˈstruːs) /


not easy to understand; recondite; esoteric
Derived Formsabstrusely, adverbabstruseness, noun

Word Origin for abstruse

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



1590s, from Middle French abstrus (16c.) or directly from Latin abstrusus "hidden, concealed, secret," past participle of abstrudere "conceal," literally "to thrust away," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + trudere "to thrust, push" (see extrusion). Related: Abstrusely; abstruseness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper