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abstract

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj abstract existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment "abstract words like `truth' and `justice'"
    • adj abstract dealing with a subject in the abstract without practical purpose or intention "abstract reasoning","abstract science"
    • adj abstract not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature "a large abstract painting"
    • v abstract consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically
    • v abstract consider apart from a particular case or instance "Let's abstract away from this particular example"
    • v abstract give an abstract (of)
    • v abstract make off with belongings of others
    • n abstract a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance "he loved her only in the abstract--not in person"
    • n abstract a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Abstract (Med) 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.
    • Abstract A state of separation from other things; as, to consider a subject in the abstract, or apart from other associated things.
    • Abstract Abstracted; absent in mind. "Abstract, as in a trance."
    • Abstract An abstract term. "The concretes “father” and “son” have, or might have, the abstracts “paternity” and “filiety.”"
    • Abstract Considered apart from any application to a particular object; separated from matter; existing in the mind only; as, abstract truth, abstract numbers. Hence: ideal; abstruse; difficult.
    • Abstract (Logic) Expressing a particular property of an object viewed apart from the other properties which constitute it; -- opposed to concrete; as, honesty is an abstract word.
    • Abstract (Logic) Resulting from the mental faculty of abstraction; general as opposed to particular; as, “reptile” is an abstract or general name.
    • Abstract That which comprises or concentrates in itself the essential qualities of a larger thing or of several things. Specifically: A summary or an epitome, as of a treatise or book, or of a statement; a brief. "An abstract of every treatise he had read.""Man, the abstract Of all perfection, which the workmanship
      Of Heaven hath modeled."
    • Abstract To draw off in respect to interest or attention; as, his was wholly abstracted by other objects. "The young stranger had been abstracted and silent."
    • Abstract To epitomize; to abridge.
    • v. t Abstract To perform the process of abstraction. "I own myself able to abstract in one sense."
    • Abstract To separate, as ideas, by the operation of the mind; to consider by itself; to contemplate separately, as a quality or attribute.
    • Abstract (Chem) To separate, as the more volatile or soluble parts of a substance, by distillation or other chemical processes. In this sense extract is now more generally used.
    • Abstract To take secretly or dishonestly; to purloin; as, to abstract goods from a parcel, or money from a till. "Von Rosen had quietly abstracted the bearing-reins from the harness."
    • Abstract To withdraw; to separate; to take away. "He was incapable of forming any opinion or resolution abstracted from his own prejudices."
    • Abstract Withdraw; separate. "The more abstract . . . we are from the body."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • abstract To draw away; take away; withdraw or remove, whether to hold or to get rid of the object withdrawn: as, to abstract one's attention; to abstract a watch from a person's pocket, or money from a bank.
    • abstract To consider as a form apart from matter; attend to as a general object, to the neglect of special circumstances; derive as a general idea from the contemplation of particular instances; separate and hold in thought, as a part of a complex idea, while letting the rest go. This meaning of the Latin abstrahere, with the corresponding meaning of abstractio, first appears toward the end of the great dispute between the nominalists and realists in the twelfth century. The invention of these terms may be said to embody the upshot of the controversy. They are unquestionably translations of the Greek ἀφαιρει%26ν, and ἀφαίρεσις, though we cannot say how these Greek terms became known in the West so early. The earliest passage is the following: “We say those thoughts (intellectus) are by abstraction (per abstractionem), which either contemplate the nature of any form in itself without regard to the subject matter, or think any nature indifferently (indifferenter), apart, that is, from the difference of its individuals. … On the other hand, we may speak of subtraction, when any one endeavors to contemplate the nature of any subject essence apart from all form. Either thought, however, the abstracting as well as the subtracting, seems to conceive the thing otherwise than it exists.” De Intellectibus, in Cousin's Fragments Philosophiques (2d ed.), p. 481. This old literature having been long forgotten, an erroneous idea of the origin of the term arose. “Abstraction means etymologically the active withdrawal of attention from one thing in order to fix it on another thing.” Sully. [This plausible but false notion gave rise to the phrase to abstract (intrans.) from. See below.]
    • abstract To derive or obtain the idea of.
    • abstract To select or separate the substance of, as a book or writing; epitomize or reduce to a summary.
    • abstract To extract: as, to abstract spirit. Synonyms To disengage, isolate, detach. See abridge.
    • abstract To form abstractions; separate ideas; distinguish between the attribute and the subject in which it exists: as, “brutes abstract not,” Locke.
    • abstract [This is all founded on a false notion of the origin of the term. See above.]
    • abstract Conceived apart from matter and from special cases: as, an abstract number, a number as conceived in arithmetic, not a number of things of any kind. Originally applied to geometrical forms (the metaphor being that of a statue hewn from a stone), and down to the twelfth century restricted exclusively to mathematical forms and quantities. (Isidorus, about a. d. 600, defines abstract number.) It is now applied to anything of a general nature which is considered apart from special circumstances: thus, abstract right is what ought to be done independently of instituted law. [The phrase in the abstract is preferable to the adjective in this sense.]
    • abstract In grammar (since the thirteenth century), applied specially to that class of nouns which are formed from adjectives and denote character, as goodness, audacity, and more generally to all nouns that do not name concrete things. Abstract in this sense is a prominent term in the logic of Occam and of the English nominalists.
    • abstract Having the mind drawn away from present objects, as in ecstasy and trance; abstracted: as, “abstract as in a trance,”
    • abstract Produced by the mental process of abstraction: as, an abstract idea. Under this head belong two meanings of abstract which can hardly be considered as English, though they are sometimes used by writers influenced by the German language. They are— General; having relatively small logical comprehension; wide; lofty; indeterminate. This is the usual meaning of abstract in German; but its establishment in English would greatly confuse our historical terminology. Resulting from analytical thought; severed from its connections; falsified by the neglect of important considerations. This is the Hegelian meaning of the word, carrying with it a tacit condemnation of the method of analytical mechanics and of all application of mathematics.
    • abstract Demanding a high degree of mental abstraction; difficult; profound; abstruse: as, highly abstract conceptions; very abstract speculations.
    • abstract Applied to a science which deals with its object in the abstract: as, abstract logic; abstract mathematics: opposed to applied logic and mathematics.
    • abstract Separated from material elements; ethereal; ideal.
    • n abstract That which concentrates in itself the essential qualities of anything more extensive or more general, or of several things; the essence; specifically, a summary or epitome containing the substance, a general view, or the principal heads of a writing, discourse, series of events, or the like.
    • n abstract That portion of a bill of quantities, an estimate, or an account which contains the summary of the various detailed articles.
    • n abstract In pharmacy, a dry powder prepared from a drug by digesting it with suitable solvents, and evaporating the solution so obtained to complete dryness at a low temperature (122° F.). It is twice as strong as the drug or the fluid extract, and about ten times as strong as the tincture.
    • n abstract A catalogue; an inventory.
    • n abstract In grammar, an abstract term or noun.
    • n abstract conceived apart from matter or special circumstances; without reference to particular applications; in its general principles or meanings.
    • n abstract Synonyms Abridgment, Compendium, Epitome, Abstract, etc. See abridgment.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Abstract abs-trakt′ to draw away: to separate: to purloin
    • n Abstract anything abstractive: an abstract
    • adj Abstract abs′trakt general, as opposed to particular or individual (the opposite of abstract is concrete—a red colour is an abstract notion, a red rose is a concrete notion; an abstract noun is the name of a quality apart from the thing, as redness)
    • n Abstract summary: abridgment: essence
    • ***

Quotations

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Samuel%20Taylor%20Coleridge
    “Exclusively of the abstract sciences, the largest and worthiest portion of our knowledge consists of aphorisms: and the greatest and best of men is but an aphorism.”
  • Al Capp
    Al Capp
    “Abstract Art: A product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.”
  • Paul Klee
    Paul%20Klee
    “The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract.”
  • John Keats
    John%20Keats
    “Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critic on his own works.”
  • Havelock Ellis
    Havelock%20Ellis
    “Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself.”
  • Susan Sontag
    Susan%20Sontag
    “The love of the famous, like all strong passions, is quite abstract. Its intensity can be measured mathematically, and it is independent of persons.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. abstractus, p. p. of abstrahere, to draw from, separate; ab, abs, + trahere, to draw. See Trace

Usage

In literature:

I noticed that she had an abstracted air, and at short intervals glanced out from the opening of the tent.
"The Scalp Hunters" by Mayne Reid
Abstract terms are terms abstracted from this dynamic reference.
"Essays Towards a Theory of Knowledge" by Alexander Philip
He reduced calculus to its simplest forms, and made abstractions plain.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8" by Elbert Hubbard
In the library across the hall, William Carmody paced nervously up and down, pausing at each turn to gaze abstractedly out of the window.
"The Promise" by James B. Hendryx
In her present humour she did not want him, yet she resented his abstraction.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
Ward, originally abstract, is the same word as Fr.
"The Romance of Names" by Ernest Weekley
Let us get definite ideas here, however gross, and purify them afterwards by the process of abstraction.
"Fragments of science, V. 1-2" by John Tyndall
It has made the abstraction of our slaves a virtue.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
He is the most abstracted creature I ever saw in my life.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Statistical Abstract of the United States.
"Commercial Geography" by Jacques W. Redway
From the latter and their objects we can, in imagination, without exception, abstract; from the former we cannot.
"The World's Greatest Books--Volume 14--Philosophy and Economics" by Various
Thus bare sensation is abstract and bare thought is abstract.
"The Approach to Philosophy" by Ralph Barton Perry
God in the abstract is not a real existence any more than tree in the abstract is a real existence.
"Theism or Atheism" by Chapman Cohen
Three things are required: (1) To learn =how= to abstract; (2) To =make= one, at least, such abstract; and (3) To =learn= it when made.
"Assimilative Memory" by Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
Some scholars assert that the Egyptians rejected every abstraction and did not have any philosophy.
"Scarabs" by Isaac Myer
There is a unity, though not the abstract unity of the Utilitarian sovereign.
"The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3)" by Leslie Stephen
Given to Abstraction of Thought.
"Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel" by Frank G. Allen
The abstract question of University representation may be discussed some time.
"The Contemporary Review, January 1883" by Various
And, second, and more important, he sacrifices the opportunity to develop his own powers and make concrete his own abstract self.
"The Young Farmer: Some Things He Should Know" by Thomas Forsyth Hunt
WE have not shunned the abstractions of the abolitionist.
"Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments" by Various
***

In poetry:

And even the Abstract Entities
Circumambulate her charm;
But our lot crawls between dry ribs
To keep our metaphysics warm.
"Whispers Of Immortality" by T S Eliot
From such a world, all touch, all ear, all eye,
What marvel, then, if proud Abstraction fly;
Amid Hercynian shades pursue his theme,
And leave the land of Locke to gold and steam?
"Pretence. Part II - The Library" by John Kenyon
So careless of your gifts you walked—
Lost in a vision's gleam
Or pale abstraction, ghostly dream,
While close behind Love's shadow stalked
Until with his last sigh,
You turned and saw him die.
"Epitaph for a Careless Beauty" by Marya Zaturenska
on theoretical considerations and
the jealous spiritualities of the abstract
the robot? they're smoke, billows above
the physical event. They have burned up.
See how free we are! as a nation of persons.
"On Seeing Larry Rivers' Washington Crossing The Delaware At The Museum Of Modern Art" by Frank O Hara
For power living I would never do it; they're not delightful to
touch, one wants to be separate. For power
After the nerves are put away underground, to lighten the
abstract unborn children toward peace…
"Meditation On Saviors" by Robinson Jeffers
'The commander-in-chief cast an abstracted and sullen glance at him,
growled angrily, "Well?"… Yegor stood like a statue, showing his teeth
as if he were grinning! Looking at him from the side, you'd say the fellow
was laughing!
"Hang Him!" by Ivan Turgenev

In news:

Abstract Laryngotracheal trauma may result in lifelong complications or even death if diagnosis or treatment is delayed.
This paper introduces a novel approach to model warrant computation in a skeptical abstract argumentation framework.
Lemma is two full-time musicians, a doctoral student and an abstract geometry researcher.
The Dead C (from left, Robbie Yeats, Bruce Russell and Michael Morley) moved from a riff-based sound to one that was more abstract and improvisational.
See more of Lister 's work at his Web site, and scroll down for his abstractions, with links to their sources.
The Taylor Library in Pacific Beach is presenting a broad selection of Edward Mix's paintings, including this colorful composition, which takes his interest in the figure into abstract territory.
Abstract —This paper presents an exact technique for scheduling looping data-flow graphs that implicitly supports functional pipelining and loop winding.
Abstract Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the subglottis is infrequently reported in the literature.
Luminaries can be purchased from Gwen Mount, Ruth Brunick or at the Civic Council, Clay County Abstract and Title Co.
Firefighters are busy hanging pictures and decorations including a large abstract art piece full of colorful metal squares in new Maitland Fire Chief Kim Neisler's office.
For half a century, the art world's chattering class — critics and curators, mostly — has been declaring abstraction dead and buried.
In the '60s, there was pop art, which was thought to be edging out abstraction.
"Red" a colorful look at abstract painter Mark Rothko .
Lawrence Hecht as abstract expressionist Mark Rothko in "Red".
Like other modernists, Miss Graham rejected literal imagery in favor of abstraction.
***

In science:

Witt type in [X1] to those abstractly determined by Passman [P].
Derivation-Simple Algebras and the Structures of Generalized Lie Algebras of Witt Type
We call our approach geometrical as instead of considering 6-fold integral in abstract space we consider random triangle (RT) inside the plane rectangle when all possible cases are explicitly apparent.
Random triangle problem: geometrical approach
ABSTRACT– We present VLA H I observations of the low surface brightness galaxy UGC 12695 and its two companions, UGC 12687 and a newly discovered dwarf galaxy 2333+1234.
Star Formation and Tidal Encounters with the Low Surface Brightness Galaxy UGC 12695 and Companions
Abstract: We review some applications of Type 0 string theory in the context of the AdS/CFT correspondence.
AdS/CFT Correspondence and Type 0 String Theory
ABSTRACT: Random matrix theory is a powerful way to describe universal correlations of eigenvalues of complex systems.
Random Matrix Theory and Chiral Symmetry in QCD
Take an abstract set Σ = {σs : s ∈ S } in bijection with S .
The solution to a conjecture of Tits on the subgroup generated by the squares of the generators of an Artin group
We note that there is an obvious homomorphism f from the abstract group H (Γ) defined by the presentation displayed in Theorem 1 to the group A(Γ).
The solution to a conjecture of Tits on the subgroup generated by the squares of the generators of an Artin group
For each s ∈ S, take an abstract set I (s) with N elements.
The solution to a conjecture of Tits on the subgroup generated by the squares of the generators of an Artin group
We present, first, our results on an abstract level, dealing with abstract sets and, then, specialize our results to the case of sets of models.
Distance Semantics for Belief Revision
The OGSI abstractions of Grid Service and Grid Service factory are suitable for this task of implementing such abstraction.
Fine-Grained Authorization for Job Execution in the Grid: Design and Implementation
Although Callaway & Lester also carry out their revision operations on abstract representations of sentences, these are obtained by first ge nerating concrete sentences and then abstracting again over irrelevant details.
Dialogue as Discourse: Controlling Global Properties of Scripted Dialogue
These are abstract ob jects but in many cases abstract mathematical constructions drastically influence the development of physics.
Random Matrices and Supersymmetry in Disordered Systems
Such a pro jective space has a non-distributive lattice of subspaces and hence the deducted natural level of abstraction was a lattice-theoretic one, but after seven decades there is still no satisfactory abstract counterpart to the role which the tensor product plays in von Neumann’s Hilbert space formalism.
De-linearizing Linearity: Projective Quantum Axiomatics from Strong Compact Closure
Additional sections includes a construction which adds abstract global phases and hence provides a (partial) converse to Def. 3.1; this yields an abstract equivalence which resembles the fundamental theorem of pro jective geometry relating pro jective spaces and vector spaces.
De-linearizing Linearity: Projective Quantum Axiomatics from Strong Compact Closure
But in fact we only want to eliminate global phases, since, as shown in, global amplitudes allow us to encode probability weights, and are crucially intertwined with the abstract inner-product via the abstract Born rule.
De-linearizing Linearity: Projective Quantum Axiomatics from Strong Compact Closure
***