abstract

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See also: Abstract

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

abstract (plural abstracts)

  1. An abridgement or summary of a longer publication. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][1]
    • 1741, Isaac Watts, The Improvement of the Mind
      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.][1]
    1. Concentrated essence of a product.
    2. (medicine) A powdered solid extract of a medicinal substance mixed with lactose.[2]
  3. An abstraction; an abstract term; that which is abstract. [First attested in the mid 16th century.][1]
    • 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.][1]
  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[edit]

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

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adjective[edit]

abstract (comparative more abstract or abstracter, superlative most abstract or abstractest)[3]

  1. (obsolete) Derived; extracted. [Attested from around 1350 to 1470 until the late 15th century.][1]
  2. (now rare) Drawn away; removed from; apart from; separate. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][1]
    • 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.][1]
    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.][1]
    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.][1]
    Synonyms: attributive, ascriptive
  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.
    • 2012, Laurence, Stephen and Margolis, Eric, Abstraction and the Origin of General Ideas, Philosophers' Imprint volume 12, no. 19, December 2012:
      Given their opposition to innate ideas, philosophers in the empiricist tradition have sought to explain how the rich and multifarious representational capacities that human beings possess derive from experience. A key explanatory strategy in this tradition, tracing back at least as far as John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, is to maintain that the acquisition of many of these capacities can be accounted for by a process of abstraction. In fact, Locke himself claims in the Essay that abstraction is the source of all general ideas (1690/1975, II, xii, §1). Although Berkeley and Hume were highly critical of Locke, abstraction as a source of generality has been a lasting theme in empiricist thought.
  7. (archaic) Absent-minded. [First attested in the early 16th century.][1]
  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]
    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.][1]
    2. (music) Absolute.
    3. (dance) Lacking a story.
  9. Insufficiently factual.[3]
    Synonym: formal
  10. Apart from practice or reality; vague; theoretical; impersonal; not applied.
    • 1999, Nicholas Walker, “The Reorientation of Critical Theory: Habermas”, in Simon Glemdinning, editor, The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy[2], Routledge, →ISBN, page 489:
      During the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, this commitment brought him into frequent critical confrontation with entrenched forms of conservative thinking (in academic areas from history and social science to the more abstract domains of ethical and political philosophy), []
    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[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

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.][1]
  2. (transitive) To remove; to take away; withdraw. [First attested in the late 15th century.][1]
    • 1834, Harriet Martineau, Illustration of Political Economy, volume IX:
      The lightning of the public burdens, which at present abstract a large proportion of profits and wages.
  3. (transitive, euphemistic) To steal; to take away; to remove without permission. [First attested in the late 15th century.][1]
    • 1872, William Black}, The Strange Adventures of a Phaeton
      Von Rosen had quietly abstracted the bearing-reins from the harness.
    • 1869, Bholanauth Chunder, The Travels of a Hindoo to Various Parts of Bengal and Upper India:
      The inlaid characters in diamond, and other precious stones, have been all abstracted away by the pelf-loving Jaut and Mahratta—leaving the walls defaced with the hollow marks of the chisel.
    • 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.][1]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Franklin to this entry?)
  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.][1]
    • 1601, John Marston, Antonio's Revenge, Act II, Scene I:
      Poison from roses who could e'er abstract?
  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.][1]
  8. (intransitive, reflexive, literally, figurative) To withdraw oneself; to retire. [First attested in the mid 17th century.][1]
  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.
  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.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (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[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References[edit]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 “abstract” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, →ISBN, page 10.
  2. ^ Thomas, Clayton L., editor (1940) Taber's Encyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 5th edition, Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Company, published 1993, →ISBN, page 14
  3. 3.0 3.1 Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], →ISBN), page 8

Dutch[edit]

Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nl
Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nl

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

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

Adjective[edit]

abstract (comparative abstracter, superlative abstractst)

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

Inflection[edit]

Inflection of abstract
uninflected abstract
inflected abstracte
comparative abstracter
positive comparative superlative
predicative/adverbial abstract abstracter het abstractst
het abstractste
indefinite m./f. sing. abstracte abstractere abstractste
n. sing. abstract abstracter abstractste
plural abstracte abstractere abstractste
definite abstracte abstractere abstractste
partitive abstracts abstracters

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Afrikaans: abstrak
  • Indonesian: abstrak

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin abstractus, from abstrahō.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

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[edit]

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]

Noun[edit]

abstract

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

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin abstractus, German Abstrakt.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

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

  1. abstract

Declension[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ “Archived copy”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[1], accessed 23 January 2016, archived from the original on 4 March 2016

Scots[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

abstract (plural abstracts)

  1. abstract

Adjective[edit]

abstract (comparative mair abstract, superlative maist abstract)

  1. abstract

Verb[edit]

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

  1. abstract