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Header of Abstract


Abstract appears in the following palindrome (phrase that reads the same backward as forward):

  • Did rose, gardenia, geranium etc. arts ban an abstract emu in a regained rage (sordid)?
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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun abstract:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb abstract:


The word abstract and its family (abstraction, abstractions, abstractly, abstracts) are included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

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Definition of the noun abstract

What does abstract mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: abstracts

  1. a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
    • example: he loved her only in the abstract--not in person
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • synonym of abstract: abstraction
    • more generic words: concept / conception / construct = an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances
    • more specific words:
      • 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
      • teacher = a personified abstraction that teaches
      • thing = a special abstraction
  2. a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory

Alternative definition of the noun abstract


  1. An abridgement or summary.
  2. Something that concentrates in itself the qualities of something else.
  3. An abstraction; an abstract term.
  4. [arts] An abstract work of art.
  5. That which is abstract.
  6. [medicine] 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.

Definition of the adjective abstract

What does abstract mean as an attribute of a noun?

adjective - degrees: more abstract / abstracter | most abstract / abstractest

  1. existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment
  2. not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature
  3. dealing with a subject in the abstract without practical purpose or intention
    • examples: abstract reasoning | abstract science
    • similar: theoretical

Alternative definition of the adjective abstract


  1. [obsolete] Extracted.
  2. Considered apart from any application to a particular object; removed from; apart from; separate; abstracted.
  3. Absent in mind.
  4. Apart from practice or reality; not concrete; ideal; vague; theoretical; impersonal.
  5. Difficult to understand; abstruse.
  6. [arts] Free from representational qualities.
  7. [logic] General (as opposed to particular).
  8. [computing] Of a class in object-oriented programming, being a partial basis for subclasses rather than a complete template for objects.

Definition of the verb abstract

What does abstract mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: abstracted | abstracting | abstracts

  1. consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically
  2. make off with belongings of others
  3. consider apart from a particular case or instance
    • example: Let's abstract away from this particular example
    • lexical domain: Cognition - verbs of thinking, judging, analyzing, doubting
    • more generic terms: consider / deal / look at / take = take into consideration for exemplifying purposes
  4. give an abstract (of)

Alternative definition of the verb abstract


  1. [transitive] To separate; to remove; to take away.
  2. [transitive] To withdraw.
  3. [transitive] (euphemistic) To steal; to take away; to remove without permission.
  4. [transitive] [arts] To create artistic abstractions of.
  5. [transitive] To summarize; to abridge; to epitomize.
  6. [transitive] To consider abstractly; to contemplate separately or by itself.
  7. [transitive] To draw off (interest or attention).
  8. [transitive] [obsolete] To extract by means of distillation.
  9. [intransitive] To withdraw oneself; to retire.
  10. [intransitive] [rare] To perform the process of abstraction.
  11. [intransitive] [computing] To produce an abstraction, usually by refactoring existing code. Generally used with "out".


  1. "Abstract" a.k.a. "Abstract?": Abstract is a 2009 animation musical short film directed by Alexei Dmitriev.
  2. "Abstract" is a 2012 short film written and directed by Hito Steyerl.
  3. "Abstract" is a short film, directed by Selene Alba.

Phrases with Abstract

  1. abstract art
  2. Abstract Idea
  3. Abstract Noun
  4. Abstract Term
  5. Abstract Verb
  6. Abstract Model
  7. abstract artist
  8. abstract entity
  9. Abstract Number
  10. Abstract algebra
  11. abstract thought
  12. Abstract Language
  13. Abstract nonsense
  14. Abstract of Title
  15. abstract expressionism
  16. Abstract Harmonic Analysis

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Abstract

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewThe Routledge Student Guide to English Usage (2016)

A guide to academic writing for students by Stewart Clark, Graham Pointon

As an adjective abstract means existing in ...

Google previewASVAB AFQT For Dummies (2014)

by Rod Powers

realistic Usedas an adjective, abstract means conceptual or irregular. 22. D. hindered As usedin this sentence, hamper is a verb that means to make ...

Google previewThe Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (2011)

by Joan M. Marter

By then Abstract Expressionism had nonetheless transformed the fundamentals of painting and sculpture in the mid-20th century, and its influence in terms of style and aesthetics extended over a vast spectrum of subsequent art. [See also ...

Google previewDictionary of philosophical terms (1997)

by Elmar Waibl

abstractive ability the abstract e das ...

Google previewDictionary of Homonyms (2007)

by David Rothwell

Thus to discuss whether Bleak House or Great Expectations is Dickens's greatest novel is an abstract discussion.

Google previewEncyclopaedia Perthensis; Or Universal Dictionary of the Arts, Sciences, Literature, &c. Intended to Supersede the Use of Other Books of Reference (1816)

Abstract, in logic, any quality considered spirt, without regard to its concrete. Abstract Mathematics, otherwise called Psn Mathematics, is that which treats of magnitude or quantity, absolutely and generally considered, without regard to any ...

Google previewDictionary of Critical Realism (2015)

by Mervyn Hartwig

concrete/abstract (L., to grow together and to draw apart, respectively). Necessary (internally related) correlatives: concrete is not-abstract, and vice versa. In so far as concrete has 'a positive meaning of its ...

Google previewA Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (2013)

by Richard Kostelanetz

Abstract Expressionism: Creators and Critics. New York: Abrams, 1990. Exhibition Catalogs: Arnason, H. H., ed. American Abstract Expressionists and imagists. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 1961; Geldzahler, ...

Google previewTypological Changes in the Lexicon (2011)

Analytic Tendencies in English Noun Formation by Alexander Haselow

Introduction Abstract nouns denote entities that cannot be perceived by the sensory organs since they have no physical correlate in the extra-linguistic world. They typically denote purely mental representations, such as emotions (e.g. re nysse ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Abstract

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Photos about Abstract

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Video language resources about Abstract

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View more videos about Abstract art, The Abstract, Abstract Noun, Abstract Model, Abstract algebra, Abstract Language, Abstract nonsense, Abstract of Title, and Abstract expressionism.

See also the pronunciation examples of Abstract!

Sign language

Sign Language Abstract Research

Quotes about Abstract

I am searching for abstract ways of expressing reality, abstract forms that will enlighten my own mystery. (Eric Cantona)
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Scrabble value of A1B3S1T1R1A1C3T1

The value of this 8-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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