from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- adjective Difficult to understand; recondite.
from The Century Dictionary.
- Withdrawn from view; out of the way; concealed.
- Remote from comprehension; difficult to be apprehended or understood; profound; occult; esoteric: opposed to obvious.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- adjective obsolete Concealed or hidden out of the way.
- adjective Remote from apprehension; difficult to be comprehended or understood; recondite.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adjective difficult to penetrate; incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
Very enthusiastic, I remember they said you were, on certain abstruse points in comparative philology.
Greek, and Hebrew languages, and perfectly well knew not only the sciences called abstruse, but those arts which come under the denomination of polite literature.
Madam, all minds are not gifted with the necessary qualities which the delicacy of those fine sciences called abstruse require.
The Magnificent Lovers (Les Amants magnifiques) 1622-1673 Moli��re 1647
I am now approaching the border land of what may be called the abstruse in science, in which I humbly acknowledge it would take a vast volume to contain all I don't know; yet I hope to make plain to you this most beautiful and accurate method, and for fear I may forget to give due credit, I will say that I am indebted to Dr. Hastings for it, with whom it was an original discovery, though he told me he afterward found it had been in use by
I choose to believe instead that Spinrad is engaging in some kind of abstruse wordplay in which “Mike Resnick is an African SF writer” is revealed to be a pun or a palindrome or something, rather than something that he thought would be a useful addition to the discussion.
Belle does some kind of abstruse Boswellising; after the first meal, having gauged the kind of jests that would pay here, I observed, ‘Boswell is Barred during this cruise.’
Vailima Letters 2005
Newspapers are busy with extracts; -- much complaining that it is "abstruse," neological, hard to get the meaning of.
The Correspondence of Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1834-1872, Vol. I Thomas Carlyle 1838
(And as long as you're looking stuff up, please check "abstruse" for me.)
I would rather phrase abstruse medicaments of rare application; perhaps it is not very necessary, but at least it isn't cheap. "
Là-bas Keene [Translator] Wallace 1877
Many hedge funds piled up fortunes with abstruse mathematical trading strategies that paid little attention to the individuals or companies underlying their trades.