Etymology: Medieval Latin abstractus, from Latin, past participle of abstrahere to drag away, from abs-, ab- + trahere to pull, draw
Date: 14th century
a. disassociated from any specific instance <an abstract entity> b. difficult to understand ; abstruse <abstract problems> c. insufficiently factual ; formal <possessed only an abstract right> 2. expressing a quality apart from an object <the word poem is concrete, poetry is abstract> 3. a. dealing with a subject in its abstract aspects ; theoretical <abstract science> b. impersonal, detached <the abstract compassion of a surgeon — Time> 4. having only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation or narrative content <abstract painting> • abstractly adverb • abstractness noun II. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Latin abstractus Date: 15th century 1. a summary of points (as of a writing) usually presented in skeletal form; also something that summarizes or concentrates the essentials of a larger thing or several things 2. an abstract thing or state 3. abstraction 4a III. Date: 1542 transitive verb 1. remove, separate 2. to consider apart from application to or association with a particular instance 3. to make an abstract of ; summarize 4. to draw away the attention of 5. steal, purloin intransitive verb to make an abstraction • abstractable adjective • abstractor or abstracter noun
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.