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abstraction +‎ -ist


  • (US) IPA(key): /æbˈstɹæk.ʃən.əst/
  • (file)


abstractionist (comparative more abstractionist, superlative most abstractionist)

  1. Related or tending to abstractionism, particularly art.



abstractionist (plural abstractionists)

  1. An idealist. [First attested in the mid 19th century.][1]
    • 1844, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nominalist and Realist”, in Essays, Second Series:
      She punishes abstractionists, and will only forgive an induction which is rare and casual.
    • 1850, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Montaigne; or, the Skeptic”, in Representative Men:
      If you come near them and see what conceits they entertain,—they are abstractionists, and spend their days and nights in dreaming some dream; in expecting the homage of society to some precious scheme, built on a truth, but destitute of proportion in its presentment, of justness in its application, and of all energy of will in the schemer to embody and vitalize it.
    • 1913, Charles Francis Adams, ’Tis Sixty Years Since, New York: The Macmillan Company, page 15:
      In this all-important respect I do not hesitate to say we theorists and abstractionists of the North, throughout that long anti-slavery discussion which ended with the 1861 dash of arms, were thoroughly wrong.
  2. (art) Someone who supports or creates abstract art.



  1. ^ Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief, William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “abstractionist”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 10.