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Related to abstract: abstract noun, Abstract class


1. denoting art characterized by geometric, formalized, or otherwise nonrepresentational qualities
2. Philosophy (of an idea) functioning for some empiricists as the meaning of a general term
3. an abstract painting, sculpture, etc.



a brief oral or written summary of a book, a scientific or scholarly work, or the results of a scientific or scholarly study. An abstract generally aims to provide scientific or scholarly information. The dissertation abstract written by those seeking the degree of candidate or doctor of sciences is a summary of the dissertation’s chief scholarly and theoretical propositions.

References in classic literature ?
Lunn's, whose pretty daughter Sally had been an early flame of his, and, when the church-goers were at a safe distance, to abstract the guineas from their wooden box and slip them into a small canvas bag--nothing easier than to call to the cowboy that he was going, and tell him to keep an eye on the house for fear of Sunday tramps.
It is more needful that I should have a fibre of sympathy connecting me with that vulgar citizen who weighs out my sugar in a vilely assorted cravat and waistcoat, than with the handsomest rascal in red scarf and green feathers--more needful that my heart should swell with loving admiration at some trait of gentle goodness in the faulty people who sit at the same hearth with me, or in the clergyman of my own parish, who is perhaps rather too corpulent and in other respects is not an Oberlin or a Tillotson, than at the deeds of heroes whom I shall never know except by hearsay, or at the sublimest abstract of all clerical graces that was ever conceived by an able novelist.
To read of female character as depicted in Poetry and Fiction, one would think it was made up of sentiment, either for good or bad--here is a specimen, and a most sensible and respectable specimen, too, whose staple ingredient is abstract reason.
People never enjoy Abstract Science, you know, when they're ravenous with hunger.
They are either too lazy or too sensible to worry themselves about abstract points of religious belief.
To be less abstract - Let us suppose a game of draughts where the pieces are reduced to four kings, and where, of course, no oversight is to be expected.
She could not abstract her mind five minutes: she was forced to listen; his reading was capital, and her pleasure in good reading extreme.
I say it was this fact that chiefly determined the strong effect she produced on me: for, in the abstract, no womanly character could seem to have less affinity for that of a shrinking, romantic, passionate youth than Bertha's.
Pierre during the last two years, as a result of his continual absorption in abstract interests and his sincere contempt for all else, had acquired in his wife's circle, which did not interest him, that air of unconcern, indifference, and benevolence toward all, which cannot be acquired artificially and therefore inspires involuntary respect.
They say, when he was a little boy, he made an abstract of
He was [29] meant--we see it in the variety, the high level both of matter and style, the animation, the gravity, of one after another of these thoughts--on religion, on poetry, on politics in the highest sense; on their most abstract principles, and on the authors who have given them a personal colour; on the genius of those authors, as well as on their concrete works; on outlying isolated subjects, such as music, and special musical composers--he was meant, if people ever are meant for special lines of activity, for the best sort of criticism, the imaginative criticism; that criticism which is itself a kind of construction, or creation, as it penetrates, through the given literary or artistic product, into the mental and inner constitution of the producer, shaping his work.
I said what I could to comfort her, and offered such counsels as I thought she most required: advising her, first, by gentle reasoning, by kindness, example, and persuasion, to try to ameliorate her husband; and then, when she had done all she could, if she still found him incorrigible, to endeavour to abstract herself from him--to wrap herself up in her own integrity, and trouble herself as little about him as possible.