Abstract Definition

Other Abstract Definition

[n] a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance; "he loved her only in the abstract--not in person"
[n] a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory
[adj] dealing with a subject in the abstract without practical purpose or intention; "abstract reasoning"; "abstract science"
[adj] existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment; "abstract words like `truth' and `justice'"
[adj] based on specialized theory; "a theoretical analysis"
[adj] not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature; "a large abstract painting"
[v] consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically
[v] consider apart from a particular case or instance; "Let's abstract away from this particular example"
[v] give an abstract (of)
[v] make off with belongings of others

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Misc. Definitions

\Ab"stract`\ (#; 277), a. [L. abstractus, p. p. of abstrahere to draw from, separate; ab, abs + trahere to draw. See {Trace}.]
1. Withdraw; separate. [Obs.] The more abstract . . . we are from the body. --Norris.
2. Considered apart from any application to a particular object; separated from matter; existing in the mind only; as, abstract truth, abstract numbers. Hence: ideal; abstruse; difficult.
3. (Logic) (a) Expressing a particular property of an object viewed apart from the other properties which constitute it; -- opposed to {concrete}; as, honesty is an abstract word. --J. S. Mill. (b) Resulting from the mental faculty of abstraction; general as opposed to particular; as, ``reptile'' is an abstract or general name. --Locke. A concrete name is a name which stands for a thing; an abstract name which stands for an attribute of a thing. A practice 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. --J. S. Mill.
4. Abstracted; absent in mind. ``Abstract, as in a trance.'' --Milton. {An abstract idea} (Metaph.), an idea separated from a complex object, or from other ideas which naturally accompany it; as the solidity of marble when contemplated apart from its color or figure. {Abstract terms}, those which express abstract ideas, as beauty, whiteness, roundness, without regarding any object in which they exist; or abstract terms are the names of orders, genera or species of things, in which there is a combination of similar qualities. {Abstract numbers} (Math.), numbers used without application to things, as 6, 8, 10; but when applied to any thing, as 6 feet, 10 men, they become concrete. {Abstract} or {Pure mathematics}. See {Mathematics}.
\Ab*stract"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Abstracted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Abstracting}.] [See {Abstract}, a.]
1. To withdraw; to separate; to take away. He was incapable of forming any opinion or resolution abstracted from his own prejudices. --Sir W. Scott.
2. To draw off in respect to interest or attention; as, his was wholly abstracted by other objects. The young stranger had been abstracted and silent. --Blackw. Mag.
3. To separate, as ideas, by the operation of the mind; to consider by itself; to contemplate separately, as a quality or attribute. --Whately.
4. To epitomize; to abridge. --Franklin.
5. To take secretly or dishonestly; to purloin; as, to abstract goods from a parcel, or money from a till. Von Rosen had quietly abstracted the bearing-reins from the harness. --W. Black.
6. (Chem.) To separate, as the more volatile or soluble parts of a substance, by distillation or other chemical processes. In this sense extract is now more generally used.
\Ab*stract"\, v. t. To perform the process of abstraction. [R.] I own myself able to abstract in one sense. --Berkeley.
\Ab"stract`\, n. [See {Abstract}, a.]
1. That which comprises or concentrates in itself the essential qualities of a larger thing or of several things. Specifically: A summary or an epitome, as of a treatise or book, or of a statement; a brief. An abstract of every treatise he had read. --Watts. Man, the abstract Of all perfection, which the workmanship Of Heaven hath modeled. --Ford.
2. A state of separation from other things; as, to consider a subject in the abstract, or apart from other associated things.
3. An abstract term. The concretes ``father'' and ``son'' have, or might have, the abstracts ``paternity'' and ``filiety.'' --J. S. Mill.
4. (Med.) A powdered solid extract of a vegetable substance mixed with sugar of milk in such proportion that one part of the abstract represents two parts of the original substance. {Abstract of title} (Law), an epitome of the evidences of ownership. Syn: Abridgment; compendium; epitome; synopsis. See {Abridgment}.

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