abstruse

play
adjective ab·struse \əb-ˈstrüs, ab-\

Definition of abstruse

formal

  1. :  difficult to comprehend :  recondite the abstruse calculations of mathematicians abstruse concepts/ideas/theories

abstrusely

adverb

abstruseness

noun

abstruse was our Word of the Day on 05/01/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of abstruse in a Sentence

  1. Her subject matter is abstruse.

  2. you're not the only one who finds Einstein's theory of relativity abstruse

Recent Examples of abstruse from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abstruse'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Latin Ties Things Together With Abstruse

Look closely at the following Latin verbs, all of which are derived from the verb "trudere" ("to push"): "extrudere," "intrudere," "obtrudere," "protrudere." Each of these Latin verbs has an English descendant whose meaning involves pushing or thrusting. Another "trudere" offspring, abstrudere, meaning "to push away" or "to conceal," gave English abstrude, meaning "to thrust away." But that verb didn't make it past the 17th century. The "abstrudere" descendant that did survive is "abstruse," an adjective that recalls the meaning of its Latin parent abstrusus, meaning "concealed."

Origin and Etymology of abstruse

borrowed from Latin abstrūsus “concealed, recondite,” from past participle of abstrūdere “to conceal,” from abs- (variant of ab- ab- before c- and t-) + trūdere “to push, thrust” — more at 1threat


First Known Use: circa 1549



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