from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of abstracting or the state of having been abstracted.
  • n. An abstract concept, idea, or term.
  • n. An abstract quality.
  • n. Preoccupation; absent-mindedness.
  • n. An abstract work of art.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A separation of volatile parts by the act of distillation.
  • n. An idea of an unrealistic or visionary nature.
  • n. The result of mentally abstracting an idea; the results of said process.
  • n. The merging of two river valleys by the larger of the two deepening and widening so much so, as to assimilate the smaller.
  • n. Any generalization technique that ignores or hides details to capture some kind of commonality between different instances for the purpose of controlling the intellectual complexity of engineered systems, particularly software systems.
  • n. Any intellectual construct produced through the technique of abstraction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of abstracting, separating, or withdrawing, or the state of being withdrawn; withdrawal.
  • n. The act process of leaving out of consideration one or more properties of a complex object so as to attend to others; analysis. So, also, when it considers whiteness, softness, virtue, existence, as separate from any particular objects.
  • n. An idea or notion of an abstract, or theoretical nature.
  • n. A separation from worldly objects; a recluse life.
  • n. Absence or absorption of mind; inattention to present objects.
  • n. The taking surreptitiously for one's own use part of the property of another; purloining.
  • n. A separation of volatile parts by the act of distillation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of taking away or separating; the act of withdrawing, or the state of being withdrawn; withdrawal, as of a part from a whole, or of one thing from another.
  • n. The act of abstracting or concentrating the attention on a part of a complex idea and neglecting the rest or supposing it away; especially, that variety of this procedure by which we pass from a more to a less determinate concept, from the particular to the general; the act or process of refining or sublimating.
  • n. A concept which is the product of an abstracting process; a metaphysical concept; hence, often, an idea which cannot lead to any practical result; a theoretical, impracticable notion; a formality; a fiction of metaphysics.
  • n. Inattention to present objects; the state of being engrossed with any matter to the exclusion of everything else; absence of mind: as, a fit of abstraction.
  • n. In distillation, the separation of volatile parts from those which are fixed.
  • n. In geology, the tapping of the head waters of one stream by another the erosive action of which is more rapid.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a general concept formed by extracting common features from specific examples
  • n. a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
  • n. an abstract painting
  • n. the process of formulating general concepts by abstracting common properties of instances
  • n. the act of withdrawing or removing something
  • n. preoccupation with something to the exclusion of all else


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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