Ab"stract` (#; 277), a. [L.
abstractus, p. p. of abstrahere to draw from, separate;
ab, abs + trahere to draw. See Trace.]
1. Withdraw; separate. [Obs.]
The more abstract . . . we are from the body.
2. Considered apart from any application to a
particular object; separated from matter; existing in the mind only; as,
abstract truth, abstract numbers. Hence: ideal; abstruse;
3. (Logic) (a) Expressing a
particular property of an object viewed apart from the other properties
which constitute it; -- opposed to concrete; as, honesty is an
abstract word. J. S. Mill. (b)
Resulting from the mental faculty of abstraction; general as opposed
to particular; as, "reptile" is an abstract or general name.
A concrete name is a name which stands for a thing; an
abstract name which stands for an attribute of a thing. A practice
has grown up in more modern times, which, if not introduced by Locke, has
gained currency from his example, of applying the expression
"abstract name" to all names which are the result of abstraction and
generalization, and consequently to all general names, instead of confining
it to the names of attributes.
J. S. Mill.
4. Abstracted; absent in mind.
"Abstract, as in a trance." Milton.
An abstract idea (Metaph.), an idea
separated from a complex object, or from other ideas which naturally
accompany it; as the solidity of marble when contemplated apart from its
color or figure. -- Abstract terms, those which
express abstract ideas, as beauty, whiteness, roundness, without regarding
any object in which they exist; or abstract terms are the names of
orders, genera or species of things, in which there is a combination of
similar qualities. -- Abstract numbers
(Math.), numbers used without application to things, as 6, 8,
10; but when applied to any thing, as 6 feet, 10 men, they become
concrete. -- Abstract or Pure
mathematics. See Mathematics.
Ab*stract" (?), v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Abstracted; p. pr. & vb. n.
Abstracting.] [See Abstract, a.]
1. To withdraw; to separate; to take
He was incapable of forming any opinion or resolution
abstracted from his own prejudices.
Sir W. Scott.
2. To draw off in respect to interest or attention;
as, his was wholly abstracted by other objects.
The young stranger had been abstracted and
3. To separate, as ideas, by the operation of the
mind; to consider by itself; to contemplate separately, as a quality or
4. To epitomize; to abridge.
5. To take secretly or dishonestly; to purloin; as,
to abstract goods from a parcel, or money from a till.
Von Rosen had quietly abstracted the bearing-reins
from the harness.
6. (Chem.) To separate, as the more volatile
or soluble parts of a substance, by distillation or other chemical
processes. In this sense extract is now more generally
Ab*stract", v. t. To perform the process
of abstraction. [R.]
I own myself able to abstract in one sense.
Ab"stract` (?), n. [See Abstract,
a.] 1. That which comprises or
concentrates in itself the essential qualities of a larger thing or of
several things. Specifically: A summary or an epitome, as of a treatise or
book, or of a statement; a brief.
An abstract of every treatise he had read.
Man, the abstract
Of all perfection, which the workmanship
Of Heaven hath modeled.
2. A state of separation from other things; as, to
consider a subject in the abstract, or apart from other associated
3. An abstract term.
The concretes "father" and "son" have, or might have, the
abstracts "paternity" and "filiety."
J. S. Mill.
4. (Med.) A powdered solid extract of a
vegetable substance mixed with sugar of milk in such proportion that one
part of the abstract represents two parts of the original
Abstract of title (Law), an epitome of the
evidences of ownership.
Syn. -- Abridgment; compendium; epitome; synopsis. See