Abstraction Ab*strac"tion, n. [Cf. F. abstraction. See {Abstract}, a.] 1. The act of abstracting, separating, or withdrawing, or the state of being withdrawn; withdrawal. [1913 Webster]

A wrongful abstraction of wealth from certain members of the community. --J. S. Mill. [1913 Webster]

2. (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. [1913 Webster]

Note: Abstraction is necessary to classification, by which things are arranged in genera and species. We separate in idea the qualities of certain objects, which are of the same kind, from others which are different, in each, and arrange the objects having the same properties in a class, or collected body. [1913 Webster]

Abstraction is no positive act: it is simply the negative of attention. --Sir W. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

3. An idea or notion of an abstract, or theoretical nature; as, to fight for mere abstractions. [1913 Webster]

4. A separation from worldly objects; a recluse life; as, a hermit's abstraction. [1913 Webster]

5. Absence or absorption of mind; inattention to present objects. [1913 Webster]

6. The taking surreptitiously for one's own use part of the property of another; purloining. [Modern] [1913 Webster]

7. (Chem.) A separation of volatile parts by the act of distillation. --Nicholson. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • ABSTRACTION — ABSTRACTI Terme qui renvoie à tout au moins quatre significations, à la fois indépendantes les unes des autres et pourtant reliées par un jeu de correspondances profondes. Un sens premier du mot abstraction est le suivant: négliger toutes les… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Abstraction — • A process (or a faculty) by which the mind selects for consideration some one of the attributes of a thing to the exclusion of the rest Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Abstraction     Abstraction …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • abstraction — index concept, generality (vague statement), idea, impalpability, larceny, notion, preoccupation, vision ( …   Law dictionary

  • abstraction — Abstraction. s. f. Terme dogmatique. Separation que l esprit fait d une qualité, d une proprieté, &c. d avec le sujet où elle est. Considerer les accidents en faisant abstraction des sujets ausquels ils sont attachez. la blancheur considerée par… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • abstraction — (n.) c.1400, withdrawal from worldly affairs, asceticism, from O.Fr. abstraction (14c.), from L. abstractionem (nom. abstractio), noun of action from pp. stem of abstrahere (see ABSTRACT (Cf. abstract) (adj.)). Meaning idea of something that has… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Abstraction — (v. lat.), 1) Abziehung, Ableitung; bes. 2) beim Denken, wenn wir Vorstellungen u. Gedanken von allen sinnlichen Wahrnehmungen abgezogen ihrem eignen Inhalt nach bestimmen; das geistige Vermögen, dies zu thun, heißt das Abstractionsvermögen; vgl …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • abstraction — [n] state of being lost in thought absorption, aloofness, brooding, cogitation, consideration, contemplation, daydreaming, detachment, engrossment, entrancement, musing, pensiveness, pondering, preoccupation, reflecting, reflection, remoteness,… …   New thesaurus

  • abstraction — ► NOUN 1) the quality of being abstract. 2) something which exists only as an idea. 3) a preoccupied state. 4) abstracting or removing something …   English terms dictionary

  • abstraction — [ab strak′shən] n. [ME abstraccioun < LL abstractio: see ABSTRACT] 1. an abstracting or being abstracted; removal 2. formation of an idea, as of the qualities or properties of a thing, by mental separation from particular instances or material …   English World dictionary

  • Abstraction — This article is about the concept of abstraction in general. For other uses, see abstraction (disambiguation). Abstraction is a process by which higher concepts are derived from the usage and classification of literal ( real or concrete )… …   Wikipedia

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