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abstruse (adj) very difficult to understand; recondite.

If an argument, a book, a speech, a subject, etc., are so difficult that we cannot understand them, they are abstruse. We talk of abstruse writing, abstruse argument, etc.. When you are abstruse, your listeners are no longer interested in what you say; they do not understand you; they either pay no attention to you or go away. Using jargon, scholarly or bookish words or phrases can make a speech or writing abstruse.

  • Philosophy as a subject of study is so abstruse that it cannot be introduced at the school level.
  • I found the text very abstruse because of the highly technical and formal language in which it has been written.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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