- Def: Abstract 1. thought of apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances; 2. expressing a quality or characteristic apart from any specific object or instance; 3. heoretical; not applied or practical; 4. difficult to understand; abstruse;
- Origin: 1387, from L. abstractus "drawn away," pp. of abstrahere, from ab(s)- "away" + trahere "draw" (see tract (1)). Meaning "withdrawn or separated from material objects or practical matters" is from 1557; specifically in ref. to the arts, it dates from 1915; abstract expressionism from 1952. Meaning "summary of a document" is from 1528. The verb is first recorded 1542;
- Synonyms: abstruse, complex, deep, hypothetical, ideal, indefinite, intellectual, nonconcrete, philosophical, recondite, theoretical, transcendent, transcendental, unreal.