V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary


adjective, noun, verb

Definition: (adj.) 1. not specific or concrete; 2. based on general theory rather than something specific; 3. nonrepresentational (in art); (n.) a summary of a longer text, especially of an academic article; (v.) to develop or conceptualize a line of thought from a concrete reality to a general principle or an intellectual idea

Synonyms: (adj.) theoretical, notional, hypothetical, nonspecific, nonrepresentational, (n.) brief, summary, outline, essence, (v.) extract, isolate, separate

Antonyms: (adj.) concrete, factual, material

Tips: Abstract can be used as an adjective, verb, or noun. (see usage examples). Abstract originates from the Latin abstrahere, "to drag away or to take away." Use this etymology to help you understand the verb form of the word abstract, which means "to conceptualize an idea from a proven principle"--think of taking an idea away from a proven concept. For the adjective definitions, think how anything abstract has been taken away from its source, so there is no real understood definition of what it now is (that tip is kind of abstract!). Used as a noun, it can be a summary (short summary "taken away" from the main article), a concept, or an abstract painting.

Usage Examples:

I don't like abstract painting because it doesn't look like anything I can recognize. (nonrepresentational) adjective

The professor's argument was so abstract that no one in the room could understand it. (theoretical, not specific) adjective

Write a short abstract summarizing the main points in your paper. (summary, brief) noun

Einstein's theory of relativity was abstracted from data gathered in scientific experiments. (extracted, summarized) verb

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