from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality of being abstruse; difficulty of apprehension.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state or quality of being abstruse, or difficult to be understood; difficulty of apprehension.

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

  • n. the quality of being unclear or abstruse and hard to understand
  • n. wisdom that is recondite and abstruse and profound


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

abstruse +‎ -ness


  • Robust ratings prevail, while the departure of Amanda "middle distance" Burton in 2004 has seen wilful abstruseness replaced by a slicker, Spooks-ier, less overtly guff approach.

    Top Gear, New Tricks, Lewis … the television shows that won't die

  • I mean, assuming the "New Yorker Cartoon Law of Biting Satire", which states that the jocularity of a particular pasquinade is directly proportional to the abstruseness of the language in which you couch it, it was hilarious.


  • But it is an attempt to approach the supreme abstruseness of what surrounds us.


  • They have taken up residence — both content in being confounded and resigned to his abstruseness, they have pledged their unfailing allegiance to Will Oldham the man and his countless incarnations.

    Buzzine » Bonnie Prince Billy

  • He upbraided the narrowness of American analytic philosophy and also scolded the academic New Left for its abstruseness and inwardness ( "The UC Berkeley English department is now fully multicultural, but what have they done lately for East Oakland?").

    John Seery: Richard Rorty: Ironically Upbeat in Dark Times

  • There are two common senses of this: (1) opposition to the spread of knowledge-a policy of withholding knowledge from the general public; and (2) a style (as in literature or art) characterized by deliberate vagueness or abstruseness.

    'Daily Voting News' For August 08, 2008

  • Pantheism of Force sounds unreal and unsound, compared with the sensible remarks upon the same subject by Dr. Badgers337 who sees the abstruseness of the doctrine and does not care to include it in hard and fast lines or to subject it to mere logical analysis.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Lastly, we demonstrated in Chap.VIII. that the difficulty of understanding Scripture lies in the language only, and not in the abstruseness of the argument.

    Theologico-Political Treatise

  • November 19th, 2005 at 8: 53 pm sex says: darting! near Imbrium abstruseness miasma snobbish swapping

    Think Progress » Cheney resignation

  • Our predominant motive or intention is, indeed, frequently concealed from ourselves when it is mingled and confounded with other motives which the mind, from vanity or self-conceit, is desirous of supposing more prevalent: but there is no instance that a concealment of this nature has ever arisen from the abstruseness and intricacy of the motive.

    An Enquiry into the Principles of Morals


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