What is abstract?

  • (noun): A concept or idea not associated with any specific instance.
    Example: "He loved her only in the abstract--not in person"
    Synonyms: abstraction
    See also — Additional definitions below

Some articles on abstracts:

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More definitions of "abstract":

  • (adj): Based on specialized theory.
    Synonyms: theoretical
  • (verb): Consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically.
  • (verb): Consider apart from a particular case or instance.
    Example: "Let's abstract away from this particular example"
  • (noun): A sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory.
    Synonyms: outline, synopsis, precis
  • (adj): Existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment.
    Example: "Abstract words like 'truth' and 'justice'"
  • (adj): Dealing with a subject in the abstract without practical purpose or intention.
    Example: "Abstract reasoning"; "abstract science"
  • (verb): Give an abstract (of).

Famous quotes containing the word abstract:

    But the abstract conception
    Of private experience at its greatest intensity
    Becoming universal, which we call “poetry,”
    May be affirmed in verse.
    —T.S. (Thomas Stearns)

    One of the fundamental reasons why so many doctors become cynical and disillusioned is precisely because, when the abstract idealism has worn thin, they are uncertain about the value of the actual lives of the patients they are treating. This is not because they are callous or personally inhuman: it is because they live in and accept a society which is incapable of knowing what a human life is worth.
    John Berger (b. 1926)

    A work of art is an abstract or epitome of the world. It is the result or expression of nature, in miniature. For, although the works of nature are innumerable and all different, the result or the expression of them all is similar and single.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)