Definition of “abstract” - English Dictionary

“abstract” in British English

See all translations

abstractadjective

uk /ˈæb.strækt/ us /ˈæb.strækt/

abstract adjective (GENERAL)

B2 existing as an idea, feeling, or quality, not as a material object:

Truth and beauty are abstract concepts.

An abstract argument or discussion is general and not based on particular examples:

This debate is becoming too abstract - let's have some hard facts!
the abstract

general ideas:

I have difficulty dealing with the abstract - let's discuss particular cases.
So far we've only discussed the question in the abstract (= without referring to any real examples).

More examples

abstract adjective (ART)

B2 used to refer to a type of painting, drawing, or sculpture that uses shapes, lines, and colour in a way that does not try to represent the appearance of people or things:

abstract art
an abstract painter

abstractnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈæb.strækt/ us /ˈæb.strækt/

abstract noun [ C ] (SHORT DOCUMENT)

a short form of a speech, article, book, etc., giving only the most important facts or ideas:

There is a section at the end of the magazine that includes abstracts of recent articles/books.

(Definition of “abstract” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“abstract” in American English

See all translations

abstractadjective

us /æbˈstrækt, ˈæb·strækt/

existing as an idea, feeling, or quality, not as a material object:

"Humanity" is an abstract idea.

English If a statement, argument, or discussion is abstract, it is general and not based on particular examples.

art A painting, drawing, or sculpture is described as abstract if it tries to represent the qualities of objects or people but does not show their outer appearance:

abstract art

abstractnoun [ C ]

us /ˈæb·strækt/

writing a few sentences that give the main ideas in an article or a scientific paper

(Definition of “abstract” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“abstract” in Business English

See all translations

abstractadjective

uk /ˈæbstrækt/ us

existing as an idea, feeling, or quality, not as a material object:

"Satisfaction" is difficult to measure as it is an abstract concept.

abstractnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈæbstrækt/ us

a shortened form of a speech, article, book, etc., giving the most important facts or ideas:

There is a section at the end of the magazine which includes abstracts of recent articles.

(Definition of “abstract” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)