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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n abstraction a general concept formed by extracting common features from specific examples
    • n abstraction the act of withdrawing or removing something
    • n abstraction an abstract painting
    • n abstraction preoccupation with something to the exclusion of all else
    • n abstraction the process of formulating general concepts by abstracting common properties of instances
    • n abstraction a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance "he loved her only in the abstract--not in person"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Abstraction A separation from worldly objects; a recluse life; as, a hermit's abstraction .
    • Abstraction (Chem) A separation of volatile parts by the act of distillation.
    • Abstraction Absence or absorption of mind; inattention to present objects.
    • Abstraction An idea or notion of an abstract, or theoretical nature; as, to fight for mere abstractions .
    • Abstraction The act of abstracting, separating, or withdrawing, or the state of being withdrawn; withdrawal. "A wrongful abstraction of wealth from certain members of the community."
    • Abstraction (Metaph) The act process of leaving out of consideration one or more properties of a complex object so as to attend to others; analysis. Thus, when the mind considers the form of a tree by itself, or the color of the leaves as separate from their size or figure, the act is called abstraction. So, also, when it considers whiteness softness virtue existence, as separate from any particular objects. "Abstraction is no positive act: it is simply the negative of attention."
    • Abstraction The taking surreptitiously for one's own use part of the property of another; purloining.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n abstraction The act of taking away or separating; the act of withdrawing, or the state of being withdrawn; withdrawal, as of a part from a whole, or of one thing from another. Rarely applied to the physical act of taking or removing except in a derogatory sense: as, the abstraction (dishonest removal, larceny) of goods from a warehouse.
    • n abstraction 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 abstraction 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 abstraction 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 abstraction In distillation, the separation of volatile parts from those which are fixed. It is chiefly used with relation to a fluid that is repeatedly poured upon any substance in a retort and distilled off, to change its state or the nature of its composition.
    • n abstraction In geology, the tapping of the head waters of one stream by another the erosive action of which is more rapid.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Abstraction act of abstracting: state of being abstracted: absence of mind: the operation of the mind by which certain qualities or attributes of an object are considered apart from the rest: a purloining
    • ***


  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    “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
    “The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract.”
  • John Keats
    “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
    “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.”
  • Alexander Herzen
    “We have wasted our spirit in the regions of the abstract and general just as the monks let it wither in the world of prayer and contemplation.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. abstraction,. See Abstract (a.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. abs, away from, trahĕre, tractum, to draw. See Trace.


In literature:

It is abstract thought and pure feeling which are perpetually moulding the life of office and market and street.
"Preaching and Paganism" by Albert Parker Fitch
Would he think himself an abstract intelligence, out of space and time?
"Idolatry" by Julian Hawthorne
To make this abstract conception more concrete, assume the case of a young child's training in good manners.
"Talks To Teachers On Psychology; And To Students On Some Of Life's Ideals" by William James
No one needs to have the value of this division of abstract science insisted upon.
"Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects" by Herbert Spencer
He sat there until the chill discomfort of the room stirred him out of his abstraction.
"Poor Man's Rock" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
When ye come to a determination of abstract qualities, his pagan beliefs are as good for him as the God of the Bible.
"Burned Bridges" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
Potash is not so completely abstracted.
"The Birth-Time of the World and Other Scientific Essays" by J. (John) Joly
Permit me, however, to give more force and clearness to these somewhat abstract considerations, by an illustration or two.
"Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews" by Thomas Henry Huxley
But, indeed, Nietzsche will stand very well as the type of the whole of this failure of abstract violence.
"Orthodoxy" by G. K. Chesterton
Not only abstract qualities, but the concrete names of genera and species, were mistaken for objective existences.
"August Comte and Positivism" by John-Stuart Mill
Yet without it one of the first of her abstract attractions would be gone.
"Sally Bishop" by E. Temple Thurston
Lewis rode home in the late afternoon to Etterick in a haze of golden weather with an abstracted air and a slack bridle.
"The Half-Hearted" by John Buchan
A very little consideration shows that he performs at first no abstraction at all; abstraction is foreign to his mental habit.
"Ancient Art and Ritual" by Jane Ellen Harrison
He picked this up, abstractedly smelled its perfume, and drew the stem through his buttonhole.
"Satan Sanderson" by Hallie Erminie Rives
Their subject-matter was too abstract; their effects were too general.
"Modern Painting, Its Tendency and Meaning" by Willard Huntington Wright
He went on in a sort of abstracted tone.
"Juggernaut" by George Cary Eggleston
The moment they touch upon abstract discussions, they offer "lawyers' proofs" in place of "objective facts.
"The Positive Outcome of Philosophy" by Joseph Dietzgen
The passage is either nonsense, or it is an admission that abstract and concrete mathematics are coeval.
"Illustrations of Universal Progress" by Herbert Spencer
This is a somewhat abstract but a useful economic proposition.
"The Principles of Economics" by Frank A. Fetter
Even as a separate and abstract thing of theory it is not easy to recover.
"Reconstruction in Philosophy" by John Dewey

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
"For though your mates, you often boast.
You distance out-and-out;
Still, in the abstract, you're a most
Uncompromising lout!"
"The Cunning Woman" by William Schwenck Gilbert
He lived apart, he spoke with few;
Abstractedly through life he went;
Oh, what he dreamed of no one knew,
And yet he seemed to be content.
"Old David Smail" by Robert W Service
But no, she's abstract, is a bird
Of sound in the air of air soaring,
And her soul sings unencumbered
Because the song's what makes her sing.
"Harvestwoman" by Fernando Pessoa
But JAMES wouldn't dream of abstracting a fork,
And JENNY would blush with shame
At stealing so much as a bottle or cork
(A bottle I think fair game).
"Emily, John, James, and I" by William Schwenck Gilbert
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

In news:

Abstract Eosinophilic granuloma is an uncommon condition that is characterized by unifocal or multifocal osteolytic lesions that often affect the skull.
2004 O PEN F ORUM Abstracts.
Erotica is a post-AIDS album about romance — it doesn't so much evoke sex as provide a fetishistic abstraction of it.
Coordinated cyberattacks by and against nation states no longer is an abstract possibility, an Estonian official said Wednesday.
The exhibit opens with a good-sized section dedicated to Gary Komarin, a neo-abstract expressionist, in the spaces that open off the entry.
One of the things working against Front Range abstract expressionists is a lack of documentation: Their exploits rarely made the newspapers, and exhibition catalogues are few and far between.
Two decades after his death, Robert Motherwell is shaping up to be the most profound of the Abstract Expressionists .
But now, with the benefit of distance and hindsight, Motherwell is looking more important than ever, even like the deepest of the Abstract Expressionists .
Last night Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld hosted and curated Hue + Cry, a selling exhibition of Abstract Expressionist works at Sotheby's.
Abstract painter Helen Frankenthaler, 83, died in late December.
Stephen Pace, Painter and Abstract Expressionist, Is Dead at 91.
Stephen Pace, whose exuberant style applied Abstract Expressionist scale and directness to figurative painting, died on Sept 23 in an assisted-living center in New Harmony, Ind.
It generally features card-carrying, actively consorting Abstract Expressionists .
NORWICH – How would you like to win a painting valued at $1,350 from nationally-renowned abstract expressionist painter Jonas Gerard for less than the cost of lunch.
Abstract Distant metastases to the larynx are rare.

In science:

In addition, scripting languages are very suited to creating abstractions, and Python especially follows a “batteries included” approach that puts many of these abstractions directly within a user’s reach.
High-Order Discontinuous Galerkin Methods by GPU Metaprogramming
If the forbidden pattern consists of a different set of eight abstract rotation systems, we may obtain 2Ω(n2 log n) abstract rotation systems on n elements satisfying this restriction.
Improved enumeration of simple topological graphs
The number of such abstract rotation systems is Qn Good abstract rotation systems do not characterize realizable abstract rotation systems completely.
Improved enumeration of simple topological graphs
While it is likely that there is no finite characterization of realizable abstract rotation systems by a finite list of forbidden subsystems, it is known that realizable abstract rotation systems can be recognized in polynomial time .
Improved enumeration of simple topological graphs
An abstract rotation system R contains an abstract rotation system S if R has an induced subsystem isomorphic to S .
Improved enumeration of simple topological graphs
Therefore, if abc = 111 or 010, then W induces an abstract rotation system isomorphic to Cm, and if abc = 100 or 001, then W induces an abstract rotation system isomorphic to Tm .
Improved enumeration of simple topological graphs
We assume that the abstract field L♮ is finitely generated over the abstract field K ♮ .
On the definition of the Galois group of linear differential equations
We show, finally, that given any abstract irreducible Bose-like oscillator, there exists a number µ ∈ (− 1 2, ∞) such that the abstract Bose-like oscillator is unitarily equivalent to the concrete irreducible Bose-like oscillator on L2 µ (R) specified in 3.4 to 3.7.
Generalized Hermite polynomials and the Bose-like oscillator calculus
Here we introduce a definition of the Kac-Moody Lie superalgebra in an abstract manner similar to the abstract definition of the Kac-Moody Lie algebra given in [K1;1.3].
On the defining relations of the affine Lie superalgebras and their quantized universal enveloping superalgebras
The syntax of the λp -calculus, grammar (3.2), allows the same terms and wellformed formulas as the syntax of the λp′ -calculus, grammar (3.1), if we identify abstractions of collections with the appropriate collection of abstractions, and applications of collections with collections of applications.
Extending the Lambda Calculus to Express Randomized and Quantumized Algorithms
Therefore, M is an abstraction over a collection, and by assumption (3.3) is identical to a collection over abstractions.
Extending the Lambda Calculus to Express Randomized and Quantumized Algorithms
The first assumption (3.3) states that the abstraction of a collection is syntactically identical to the collection of the abstractions.
Extending the Lambda Calculus to Express Randomized and Quantumized Algorithms
Much as we refrain from identifying a term with its β -reduced form, we do not want to identify an application (abstraction) of collections with a collection of applications (abstractions).
Extending the Lambda Calculus to Express Randomized and Quantumized Algorithms
By the observation function we will define in §3.6, observing an abstraction of collections is tantamount to observing a collection of abstractions, so no new power or expressibility would be gained.
Extending the Lambda Calculus to Express Randomized and Quantumized Algorithms
We adopt basic semantic schemes as abstract general characterizations of a subtype of the field of context; i.e., one of the contexts in which interlocutors can understand themselves to be is classifiable abstractly as, for example, an exchange of (generalized) possession.
Emphatic generation: employing the theory of semantic emphasis for text generation