ab·stract • adj. / abˈstrakt; ˈabˌstrakt/ existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence: abstract concepts such as love or beauty. ∎ dealing with ideas rather than events: the novel was too abstract to sustain much attention. ∎ not based on a particular instance; theoretical: we have been discussing the problem in a very abstract manner. ∎ (of a word, esp. a noun) denoting an idea, quality, or state rather than a concrete object. ∎ of or relating to art that uses shapes, forms, colors, and textures to create suggestive effects rather than realistic images. • v. / abˈstrakt/ [tr.] 1. consider (something) theoretically or separately from something else: abstracting religion from its historical context. ∎ [intr.] form a general idea in this way: he cannot form a general notion by abstracting from particulars. 2. extract or remove (something). 3. make a written summary of (an article or book): he abstracts material for an online database. • n. / ˈabˌstrakt/ 1. a summary or statement of the contents of a book, article, or formal speech. 2. an abstract work of art. 3. (the abstract) that which is abstract; the theoretical consideration of something. PHRASES: in the abstract in a general way; without reference to specific instances.DERIVATIVES: ab·stract·ly adv. ab·strac·tor / -tər/ n. (in sense 3 of the v.).
To take or withdraw from; as, to abstract the funds of a bank. To remove or separate. To summarize or abridge.
An abstract comprises—or concentrates in itself—the essential qualities of a larger thing—or of several things—in a short, abbreviated form. It differs from a transcript, which is a verbatim copy of the thing itself and is more comprehensive.
So abstract vb. XV. Partly f. pp. †abstract, partly f. L. abstract-, pp. stem of abstrahere. abstraction XV.