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The current version of the vocabulary builder covers over 2720 words & is useful for students preparing for academic English examinations such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc. Now you can also listen to the pronunciation of words. - Refer a Friend.

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abstract (adj) having the form of an idea or a thought, without concrete shape; capable of being imagined, but not seen, heard, smelt, or touched (beyond our senses).

Beauty, for example, is an abstract idea, that is, beauty can only be imagined by each person. (Beautiful things can be seen.) Goodness is abstract. So is kindness. Abstract also means, being understood only with the help of serious thinking, and therefore difficult. 'Abstract' has another meaning - the summary of a report, speech, schedule, document, etc.. An abstract of the leader's speech was made available to the press. A collection of the important points in a report, or in a document is its abstract. Also, abstract can mean, 'in a general way', 'without being specific'. That is, not referring clearly to any thing/person particularly. In legal matters, one cannot talk in the abstract, one has to be specific and deal with facts. Philosophical ideas are so abstract that even grown up people fail to understand them clearly.

  • Subjects like philosophy, psychology, are not taught at the high school level, because they are too abstract.
  • Modern art is so abstract that unless somebody explains the idea and its symbol, we cannot understand it.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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