abstract

Use the adjective abstract for something that is not a material object or is general and not based on specific examples.

Abstract is from a Latin word meaning "pulled away, detached," and the basic idea is of something detached from physical, or concrete, reality. It is frequently used of ideas, meaning that they don't have a clear applicability to real life, and of art, meaning that it doesn't pictorially represent reality. It is also used as a noun, especially in the phrase "in the abstract" (a joke has a person laying down a new sidewalk saying "I like little boys in the abstract, but not in the concrete"), and as a verb (accented on the second syllable), meaning "to remove."

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: abstract

1
adjvn
existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment
consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically
a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
2
nv
a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory
give an abstract (of)
3
v
make off with belongings of others
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: abstract
1

adj existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment

abstract words like `truth' and `justice'”
Synonyms
conceptional, ideational, notional
being of the nature of a notion or concept
conceptual
being or characterized by concepts or their formation
ideal
constituting or existing only in the form of an idea or mental image or conception
ideologic, ideological
concerned with or suggestive of ideas
nonrepresentational
of or relating to a style of art in which objects do not resemble those known in physical nature
impalpable, intangible
incapable of being perceived by the senses especially the sense of touch
Antonyms:
concrete
capable of being perceived by the senses; not abstract or imaginary
objective
belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events
real, tangible
capable of being treated as fact
practical
concerned with actual use or practice
existent, real
being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verified existence; not illusory
tangible, touchable
perceptible by the senses especially the sense of touch
show more antonyms...

adj not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature

“a large abstract painting”
Synonyms:
abstractionist, nonfigurative, nonobjective
nonrepresentational
of or relating to a style of art in which objects do not resemble those known in physical nature

adj dealing with a subject in the abstract without practical purpose or intention

abstract reasoning”
abstract science”
Synonyms
theoretical
concerned with theories rather than their practical applications

v consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically

Type of:
consider, reckon, regard, see, view
deem to be

v consider apart from a particular case or instance

“Let's abstract away from this particular example”
Type of:
consider, deal, look at, take
take into consideration for exemplifying purposes

n a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance

“he loved her only in the abstract--not in person”
Synonyms:
abstraction
Types:
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right
an abstract idea of that which is due to a person or governmental body by law or tradition or nature
absolute
something that is conceived or that exists independently and not in relation to other things; something that does not depend on anything else and is beyond human control; something that is not relative
teacher
a personified abstraction that teaches
thing
a special abstraction
access
the right to obtain or make use of or take advantage of something (as services or membership)
advowson
the right in English law of presenting a nominee to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice
cabotage
the exclusive right of a country to control the air traffic within its borders
claim, title
an informal right to something
due
that which is deserved or owed
access, accession, admission, admittance, entree
the right to enter
floor
the parliamentary right to address an assembly
grant
a right or privilege that has been granted
human right
(law) any basic right or freedom to which all human beings are entitled and in whose exercise a government may not interfere (including rights to life and liberty as well as freedom of thought and expression and equality before the law)
legal right
a right based in law
pre-emption, preemption
the right to purchase something in advance of others
exclusive right, perquisite, prerogative, privilege
a right reserved exclusively by a particular person or group (especially a hereditary or official right)
privilege
(law) the right to refuse to divulge information obtained in a confidential relationship
representation
the right of being represented by delegates who have a voice in some legislative body
right of action
the legal right to sue
right of search
the right of a belligerent to stop neutral ships on the high seas in wartime and search them
right of way
the right of one vehicle or vessel to take precedence over another
states' rights
the rights conceded to the states by the United States constitution
voting right
the right to vote; especially the right of a common shareholder to vote in person or by proxy on the affairs of a company
riparian right, water right
right of access to water
Type of:
concept, conception, construct
an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances
2

n a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory

Synonyms:
outline, precis, synopsis
Types:
brief
a condensed written summary or abstract
apercu
a short synopsis
epitome
a brief abstract (as of an article or book)
Type of:
sum-up, summary
a brief statement that presents the main points in a concise form

v give an abstract (of)

Type of:
resume, sum up, summarise, summarize
give a summary (of)
3

v make off with belongings of others

Synonyms:
cabbage, filch, hook, lift, nobble, pilfer, pinch, purloin, snarf, sneak, swipe
Type of:
steal
take without the owner's consent

WORD FORMS

adjnnv
existing only in the mind
a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument
give a sketchy summary of the main points (of)
1 abstract
vv
consider a concept without thinking of a specific example
make off with belongings of others
2 abstract
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES