[ab.stract] adj [ML abstractus, fr. L, pp. of abstrahere to drag away, fr. abs-, ab- + trahere to pull, draw] (14c) 1 a: disassociated from any specific instance "~ entity" b: difficult to understand: abstruse "~ problems" c: insufficiently factual: formal "possessed only an ~ right"
2: expressing a quality apart from an object "the word poem is concrete, poetry is ~" 3 a: dealing with a subject in its abstract aspects: theoretical "~ science" b: impersonal, detached "the ~ compassion of a surgeon --Time"
4: having only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation or narrative content "~ painting" -- ab.stract.ly adv -- ab.stract.ness n
ab.stract n [ME, fr. L abstractus] (15c) 1: a summary of points (as of a writing) usu. presented in skeletal form; also: something that summarizes or concentrates the essentials of a larger thing or several things
2: an abstract thing or state
3: abstraction 4a ab.stract vt (1542) 1: remove, separate
2: to consider apart from application to or association with a particular instance
3: to make an abstract of: summarize
4: to draw away the attention of
5: steal, purloin ~ vi: to make an abstraction -- ab.stract.able adj -- ab.strac.tor or ab.stract.er n