2. Not easy to understand; based on general principles or theories rather than on specific instances: The abstract about light absorption was understood by very few people and so it was read exclusively by a select group.
3. A brief statement of the essential thoughts of a book, article, speech, court record, etc.: The clerk will prepare an abstract for the judge to read.
4. A summary of a longer text, especially of an academic article: The students were instructed to write short abstracts summarizing the main points in the article that was presented to them.
5. A concept or term that does not refer to a concrete object but denotes a quality, emotion, or idea; such as, truth, love, hate, etc.: The aria from the opera emoted on the abstracts of love, hate, and revenge.
6. Existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment: Clarence referred to abstracts like "truth" and "justice".
7. A work of art, especially a painting, in a style that expresses the artist’s ideas or feelings instead of showing the exact appearance of people or things; not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature: The artist's style of painting could only be described as abstract; because it was so difficult to understand.
8. Etymology: the word abstract was formed from two Latin word parts, ab-, "off, away from" + tract, "to draw, to pull".
Abstract originally meant "drawn" or "taken from"; such as, part of a text taken or abstracted from a larger piece of writing. Then abstract came to mean "difficult to understand" or "pulled away from easy understanding".
Later in the late 1800's, the word's meaning changed to a reference to a new artistic style; that is, abstract art when it suggested that the artists' pulled away from reality and were more concerned with presenting forms and ideas than in representing actual people and things.
2. To write a short summary of a speech, report, or other piece of writing: Einstein's theory of relativity is said to be abstracted from data gathered in several scientific experiments.