adj., v., & n.
adj. 1 a to do with or existing in thought rather than matter, or in theory rather than practice; not tangible or concrete (abstract questions rarely concerned him). b (of a word, esp. a noun) denoting a quality or condition or intangible thing rather than a concrete object. 2 (of art) achieving its effect by grouping shapes and colours in satisfying patterns rather than by the recognizable representation of physical reality.
v. 1 tr. (often foll. by from) take out of; extract; remove. 2 a tr. summarize (an article, book, etc.). b intr. do this as an occupation. 3 tr. & refl. (often foll. by from) disengage (a person's attention etc.); distract. 4 tr. (foll. by from) consider abstractly or separately from something else. 5 tr. euphem. steal.
n. 1 a summary or statement of the contents of a book etc. 2 an abstract work of art. 3 an abstraction or abstract term. abstract expressionism a development of abstract art which aims at a subjective emotional expression of an ideal rather than a picture of a physical object. in the abstract in theory rather than in practice. abstractly adv. abstractor n. (in sense 2 of v.).
[ ME f. OF abstract or L abstractus past part. of abstrahere (as AB-, trahere draw) ]