Simple Definition of abstraction
: the act of obtaining or removing something from a source : the act of abstracting something
: a general idea or quality rather than an actual person, object, or event : an abstract idea or quality
: the state of someone who is not paying attention to what is happening or being said : an abstracted state
Full Definition of abstraction
abstractionalplay \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
abstractiveplay \ab-ˈstrak-tiv, ˈab-ˌ\ adjective
Examples of abstraction in a sentence
abstraction of data from hospital records
“Beauty” and “truth” are abstractions.
She gazed out the window in abstraction.
Did You Know?
From its roots, abstraction should mean basically "something pulled or drawn away". So abstract art is art that has moved away from painting objects of the ordinary physical world in order to show something beyond it. Theories are often abstractions; so a theory about economics, for instance, may "pull back" to take a broad view that somehow explains all of economics (but maybe doesn't end up explaining any of it very successfully). An abstract of a medical or scientific article is a one-paragraph summary of its contents—that is, the basic findings "pulled out" of the article.
First Known Use of abstraction
ABSTRACTION Defined for Kids
Definition of abstraction for Students
1 : the act of summarizing : the state of being summarized
2 : a thought or thoughts about general qualities or ideas rather than people or things
Learn More about abstraction
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up abstraction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).