abstract


abstract
abstract adj Abstract, ideal, transcendent, transcendental are closely analogous rather than synonymous terms. The difference in meaning between abstract and ideal is not apparent when they are applied to things which are admirable in actuality as well as in idea, as a virtue or a desirable quality or attribute
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abstract (or ideal) justice

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ideal (or abstract) morality

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When, however, they are applied to the name of a category known through actually existing representatives, they reveal their fundamental differences in meaning; for abstract implies the formulation of the idea by abstraction, a logical process in which the mind selects the characters common to every known member of a species or every known instance of a quality and builds up a conception (technically, a concept) which describes no one actually existing thing or instance, but covers all things of the same kind or marked by the given quality
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man in the abstract

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to shed tears over abstract justice and generosity, beauty, etc., and never to know these qualities when you meet them— James

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poetic theory is almost invariably an abstraction from poetic practice— Day Lewis

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Ideal may or may not imply abstraction; very often it suggests the exercise of imagination or the adding and the elimination of characteristics as the mind seeks a conception of a thing in its perfection
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ideal man

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Plato, in the construction of his ideal republic, is thinking . . . of the symmetry and beauty of the whole— Dickinson

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In general, therefore, abstract connotes apartness from reality and often lack of specific application to actual things
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algebra . . . is more abstract than geometry— Russell

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On the other hand, ideal very frequently connotes superiority to reality or, less often, fancifulness, and, at times, untruth
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that lofty order of minds who pant after the ideal . . . [whose] emotions are of too exquisite a character to find fit objects among their everyday fellowmen— George Eliot

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Transcendent and transcendental, though often used as equivalents of ideal, actually imply existence beyond experience and lack of correspondence to reality as known through the senses. Thus in careful use transcendent (or transcendental) beauty is not the perfection of the beauty that is known, but a super-sensual beauty which has no parallel in experience and which cannot be apprehended through any likeness in actuality
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the idea that God is transcendent . . . exalted above the world . . . is yielding to the idea of God as immanent in his creation— Allen

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In Kant’s philosophy they are distinguished. What is transcendent is both beyond experience and beyond human knowledge; what is transcendental is beyond experience yet knowable, because the mind possesses knowledge not derived from experience but inherent in its own constitution and essential to its understanding of experience. Thus space and time, in
Kant’s philosophy, are transcendental ideas.
Analogous words: *universal, general, generic: specific (see SPECIAL): *ultimate, absolute, categorical
Antonyms: concrete
Contrasted words: practical (see PRACTICABLE): *material, physical, corporeal, objective, phenomenal
abstract n brief, synopsis, epitome, *abridgment, conspectus
Analogous words: sketch, precis, aperçu, *compendium, digest
Antonyms: amplification
Contrasted words: expansion, dilation (see corresponding verbs at EXPAND): enlargement (see corresponding verb at INCREASE)
abstract vb *detach, disengage
Analogous words: *separate, part, divorce, divide: purloin, filch, *steal
Antonyms: insert, introduce
Contrasted words: interpolate, insinuate, interpose (see INTRODUCE): *replace

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • abstract — ab·stract / ab ˌstrakt/ n 1: a summary of a legal document 2: abstract of title ab·stract /ab strakt, ab ˌstrakt/ vt Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law …   Law dictionary

  • abstract — abstráct, ă I. adj. gândit în mod separat de ansamblul concret, real. ♢ în abstract = pe bază de deducţii logice; exprimat (prea) general, teoretic; (despre un proces de gândire) greu de înţeles; (mat.) număr abstract = număr căruia nu i se… …   Dicționar Român

  • Abstract — 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.] [1913 Webster] The more abstract . . . we are from the body. Norris. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abstract — 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abstract — (‘resumen’, en inglés) puede referirse a: Abstract (sumario): resumen de un artículo científico (en:Abstract (summary)). Abstract (derecho): resumen de un texto jurídico (en:Abstract (law)). Véase también Abstract Factory (patrón de diseño)… …   Wikipedia Español

  • abstract — ● abstract nom masculin (mot anglais) Résumé d un texte scientifique, d un article de revue. ● abstract (difficultés) nom masculin (mot anglais) Anglicisme Dans une publication savante, résumé d un article, souvent placé en tête de l article lui… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • abstract — ab‧stract [ˈæbstrækt] noun [countable] a short written statement that contains the most important details of a longer piece of writing such as a newspaper article, a report, or a speech: • an abstract of the Chairman s speech to the shareholders… …   Financial and business terms

  • abstract — for adj. [, ab strakt′, ab′strakt΄; ] for n.1 & vt.4 [, ab′strakt΄; ] for n.2 [, ab′strakt΄, ab strakt′; ] for vt.1, 2, & 3 [, ab strakt′] adj. [< L abstractus, pp. of abstrahere, to draw from, separate < ab(s) , from + trahere, to DRAW] 1 …   English World dictionary

  • abstract — [adj] conceptual, theoretical abstruse, complex, deep, hypothetical, ideal, indefinite, intellectual, nonconcrete, philosophical, recondite, transcendent, transcendental, unreal; concept 582 Ant. actual, concrete, factual, material, objective,… …   New thesaurus


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