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.
Recent Examples of abstraction from the Web
There is a cross-section of portraiture by Cecily Brown, Jack Whitten and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye; abstraction by Ross Bleckner, Jennie C. Jones and Joan Mitchell.
Following the censorship of her work, in 1945, Rama eschewed figuration for years, aligning herself with the Concrete Art movement’s project of geometric abstraction.
Originally a still photographer, Ramsay has an eye for composition and near-abstraction that connects her more with art world figures like Bill Viola and Gerhard Richter than her British film contemporaries.
With so little permanence in human relationships, abstractions like the brand name have become the only constants.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abstraction'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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.
Origin and Etymology of abstraction
borrowed from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French, “abduction (of a woman), removal, extraction (of a foreign body from a wound), (in philosophy) process by which the mind is able to form universal representations of the properties of distinct objects,” borrowed from Late Latin abstractiōn-, abstractiō, from Latin abstrac- (variant stem of abstrahere “to remove forcibly”) + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at 1abstract
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
ABSTRACTION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of abstraction for English Language Learners
: 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
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
See words that rhyme with abstraction Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abstraction Spanish Central: Translation of abstraction Nglish: Translation of abstraction for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of abstraction for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about abstraction
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