Meaning of ABSTRACT in English


I. ab-ˈstrakt, ˈab-ˌ adjective

Etymology: Medieval Latin abstractus, from Latin, past participle of abstrahere to drag away, from abs-, ab- + trahere to pull, draw

Date: 14th century


a. : disassociated from any specific instance

an abstract entity

b. : difficult to understand : abstruse

abstract problems

c. : insufficiently factual : formal

possessed only an abstract right

2. : expressing a quality apart from an object

the word poem is concrete, poetry is abstract


a. : dealing with a subject in its abstract aspects : theoretical

abstract science

b. : impersonal , detached

the abstract compassion of a surgeon — Time

4. : having only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation or narrative content

abstract painting

• ab·stract·ly ab-ˈstrak(t)-lē, ˈab-ˌ adverb

• ab·stract·ness ab-ˈstrak(t)-nəs, ˈab-ˌ noun

II. ˈab-ˌstrakt, in sense 2 also ab-ˈ noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin abstractus

Date: 15th century

1. : a summary of points (as of a writing) usually 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

III. ab-ˈstrakt, ˈab-ˌ, in sense 3 usu ˈab-ˌ

Date: 1542

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to make an abstraction

• ab·stract·able -ˈstrak-tə-bəl, -ˌstrak- adjective

• ab·strac·tor or ab·stract·er -tər noun

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.