abstract

abstract

synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of abstract in English

English Online Dictionary. What means abstract‎? What does abstract mean?

English

Etymology

From Middle English abstract, borrowed from Latin abstractus, perfect passive participle of abstrahō (draw away), formed from abs- (away) + trahō (to pull, draw). The verbal sense is first attested in 1542.

Pronunciation

  • Noun:
    • IPA(key): /ˈæbˌstɹækt/
  • Adjective:
    • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈæbˌstɹækt/
    • (US) IPA(key): /ˌæbˈstɹækt/, /əbˈstɹækt/, /ˈæbˌstɹækt/
  • Verb:
    • IPA(key): /ˌæbˈstɹækt/, /əbˈstɹækt/

Noun

abstract (plural abstracts)

  1. An abridgement or summary of a longer publication. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    • An analysis and abstract of every treatise he had read.
  2. Something that concentrates in itself the qualities of a larger item, or multiple items. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
    • 1628, John Ford, The Lover's Melancholy
      Man, the abstract Of all perfection, which the workmanship Of Heaven hath modeled.
    1. Concentrated essence of a product.
    2. (medicine) A powdered solid extract of a medicinal substance mixed with lactose.
  3. An abstraction; an abstract term; that which is abstract. [First attested in the mid 16th century.]
    • 1843, John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic
      The concretes "father" and "son" have, or might have, the abstracts "paternity" and "filiety".
  4. The theoretical way of looking at things; something that exists only in idealized form. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
  5. (art) An abstract work of art. [First attested in the early 20th century.]
  6. (real estate) A summary title of the key points detailing a tract of land, for ownership; abstract of title.

Usage notes

  • (theoretical way of looking at things): Preceded, typically, by the.

Synonyms

  • (statement summarizing the important points of a text): abridgment, compendium, epitome, synopsis

Derived terms

  • abstract of title

Descendants

  • Norwegian Bokmål: abstrakt

Translations

Adjective

abstract (comparative more abstract or abstracter, superlative most abstract or abstractest)

  1. (obsolete) Derived; extracted. [Attested from around 1350 to 1470 until the late 15th century.]
  2. (now rare) Drawn away; removed from; apart from; separate. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    • 17th century, John Norris (philosopher), The Oxford Dictionary:
      The more abstract we are from the body ... the more fit we shall be to behold divine light.
  3. Not concrete: conceptual, ideal. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    Synonyms: conceptual, ideal, imaginary, incorporeal, intangible, nonempirical, theoretical
    Antonyms: actual, concrete, corporeal, empirical
  4. Difficult to understand; abstruse; hard to conceptualize. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    Synonym: abstruse
  5. Separately expressing a property or attribute of an object that is considered to be inherent to that object: attributive, ascriptive. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
    Synonyms: attributive, ascriptive
    • 1843, John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, Volume 1, page 34,
      A concrete name is a name which stands for a thing; an abstract name which stands for an attribute of a thing...
  6. Pertaining comprehensively to, or representing, a class or group of objects, as opposed to any specific object; considered apart from any application to a particular object: general, generic, nonspecific; representational. [First attested by Locke in 1689.]
    Synonyms: general, generalized, generic, nonspecific, representational
    Antonyms: discrete, specific, particular, precise
    • 1843, John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, Volume 1, page 34,
      A concrete name is a name which stands for a thing; an abstract name which stands for an attribute of a thing. [] A practice, however, has grown up in more modern times, which, if not introduced by Locke, has gained currency from his example, of applying the expression "abstract name" to all names which are the result of abstraction and generalization, and consequently to all general names, instead of confining it to the names of attributes.
  7. (archaic) Absent-minded. [First attested in the early 16th century.]
    • abstract, as in a trance
  8. (art) Pertaining to the formal aspect of art, such as the lines, colors, shapes, and the relationships among them. [First attested in the mid 19th century.]
    1. (art, often capitalized) Free from representational qualities, in particular the non-representational styles of the 20th century. [First attested in the mid 19th century.]
    2. (music) Absolute.
    3. (dance) Lacking a story.
  9. Insufficiently factual.
    Synonym: formal
  10. Apart from practice or reality; vague; theoretical; impersonal; not applied.
    Synonyms: conceptual, theoretical
    Antonyms: applied, practical
  11. (grammar) As a noun, denoting an intangible as opposed to an object, place, or person.
  12. (computing) Of a class in object-oriented programming, being a partial basis for subclasses rather than a complete template for objects.

Derived terms

Translations

See also

  • reify

Verb

abstract (third-person singular simple present abstracts, present participle abstracting, simple past and past participle abstracted)

  1. (transitive) To separate; to disengage. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
  2. (transitive) To remove; to take away; withdraw. [First attested in the late 15th century.]
  3. (transitive, euphemistic) To steal; to take away; to remove without permission. [First attested in the late 15th century.]
    • 1872, William Black, The Strange Adventures of a Phaeton
      Von Rosen had quietly abstracted the bearing-reins from the harness.
    • 2014, A P Simester, J R Spencer, G R Sullivan, Simester and Sullivan's Criminal Law: Theory and Doctrine
      Section 13 of the 1968 Act enacts a separate offence of dishonestly abstracting electricity. The separate offence is needed because electricity, like other forms of energy such as heat, is not property.
  4. (transitive) To summarize; to abridge; to epitomize. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
  5. To conceptualize an ideal subgroup by means of the generalization of an attribute, as follows: by apprehending an attribute inherent to one individual, then separating that attribute and contemplating it by itself, then conceiving of that attribute as a general quality, then despecifying that conceived quality with respect to several or many individuals, and by then ideating a group composed of those individuals perceived to possess said quality.
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To extract by means of distillation. [Attested from the early 17th century until the early 18th century.]
  7. (transitive) To consider abstractly; to contemplate separately or by itself; to consider theoretically; to look at as a general quality. [First attested in the early 17th century.]
  8. (intransitive, reflexive, literally, figuratively) To withdraw oneself; to retire. [First attested in the mid 17th century.]
  9. (transitive) To draw off (interest or attention).
    • June 1869, William Blackwood, Late for the Train (published in Blackwood's Magazine)
      The young stranger had been abstracted and silent.
    He was wholly abstracted by other objects.
  10. (intransitive, rare) To perform the process of abstraction.
    • 1710, George Berkeley, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
      I own myself able to abstract in one sense.
  11. (intransitive, fine arts) To create abstractions.
  12. (intransitive, computing) To produce an abstraction, usually by refactoring existing code. Generally used with "out".
    He abstracted out the square root function.

Conjugation

Usage notes

  • (to separate or disengage): Followed by the word from.
  • (to withdraw oneself): Followed by the word from.
  • (to summarize): Pronounced predominantly as /ˈæbˌstrækt/.
  • All other senses are pronounced as /æbˈstrækt/.

Synonyms

  • (to remove, separate, take away, or withdraw): remove, separate, take away, withdraw
  • (to abridge, epitomize, or summarize): abridge, epitomize, summarize
  • (to filch, purloin, or steal): filch, purloin, steal

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

References

  • abstract at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • abstract in Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary, edited by The Keywords Project, Colin MacCabe, Holly Yanacek, 2018.
  • abstract in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • abstract in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.

Dutch

Etymology

Borrowed from Middle French abstract, from Latin abstractus; cf. English abstract.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɑpˈstrɑkt/
  • Hyphenation: ab‧stract
  • Rhymes: -ɑkt

Adjective

abstract (comparative abstracter, superlative abstractst)

  1. abstract
  2. (art) abstract
    Antonym: figuratief

Inflection

Derived terms

  • abstractie

Descendants

  • Afrikaans: abstrak
  • Indonesian: abstrak

Middle English

Alternative forms

  • abstracte

Etymology

From Latin abstractus, from abstrahō.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /abˈstrakt(ə)/

Adjective

abstract (Late Middle English, rare)

  1. Drawn away or out of; detached:
    1. Excerpted; quoted from another text.
    2. Out of one's mind or detached from reality; temporarily insane.
    3. Having been (pulled or moved) above the ground.
    4. Barely comprehensible; hard to read.
    5. (grammar) Abstract (of a noun).

Related terms

Descendants

  • English: abstract
  • Scots: abstract

References

  • “abstract, ppl.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 2018-05-24.

Noun

abstract

  1. (Late Middle English, rare) abstract, synopsis

Descendants

  • English: abstract
    • Norwegian Bokmål: abstrakt
  • Scots: abstract

References

  • “abstract, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 2018-05-24.

Romanian

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin abstractus, German Abstrakt.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /abˈstrakt/

Adjective

abstract m or n (feminine singular abstractă, masculine plural abstracți, feminine and neuter plural abstracte)

  1. abstract

Declension

Antonyms

  • concret

Related terms

References


Scots

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈəbstrak(t)/

Noun

abstract (plural abstracts)

  1. abstract

Adjective

abstract (comparative mair abstract, superlative maist abstract)

  1. abstract

Verb

abstract (third-person singular simple present abstracts, present participle abstractin, simple past abstractt, past participle abstractt)

  1. abstract

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.