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Abstract vs. Concrete: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Abstract refers to ideas or concepts that are intangible and not physically concrete, while concrete pertains to real, tangible objects or physical substances.
Abstract vs. Concrete

Key Differences

Abstract concepts are intangible, not associated with any specific physical form, and often involve complex ideas or theories. They are about thoughts, feelings, or qualities that can't be seen or touched. In contrast, concrete refers to things that are tangible and can be perceived through the senses. Concrete concepts or objects have a physical presence.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023
When something is described as abstract, it's understood to be more theoretical, like the concept of justice or freedom. Abstract ideas are often complex and require intellectual understanding. Concrete, however, refers to specific, tangible entities like a chair or a tree, which can be directly experienced through sight, touch, or other senses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023
In art, an abstract work doesn't represent physical reality but rather uses shapes, colors, and forms to achieve its effect. It's about expressing ideas or emotions. Conversely, concrete art depicts recognizable scenes or objects, clearly representing real-world elements.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023
Abstract thinking involves processing ideas that are not directly linked to physical objects or experiences, like pondering philosophical concepts. Concrete thinking is more about dealing with what's directly observable and measurable, focusing on the here and now.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023
In language, an abstract noun represents a concept or idea without physical existence, like 'happiness' or 'growth'. Concrete nouns, however, denote things that are physical and can be observed, like 'book' or 'city'.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Nature

Intangible, conceptual
Tangible, physical
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Perception

Not perceived through senses
Perceived through senses
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Examples in Art

Non-representational forms
Representational, real-world imagery
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Thinking Style

Theoretical, philosophical
Practical, observable
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Types of Nouns

Ideas, qualities (e.g., love, time)
Physical objects, substances (e.g., table, water)
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Abstract and Concrete Definitions

Abstract

Existing as an idea without a physical form.
Freedom is an abstract concept that varies across cultures.
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Nov 22, 2023

Concrete

Relating to actual physical material or substance.
The sculpture was made from concrete and metal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Abstract

Art that does not attempt to represent external reality.
Her latest painting is abstract, focusing on emotions through colors.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Concrete

Of or relating to an actual, specific thing or instance; particular
Had the concrete evidence needed to convict.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Theoretical and not based on physical examples.
His thesis explores the abstract principles of quantum physics.
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Concrete

Relating to nouns, such as flower or rain, that denote a material or tangible object or phenomenon.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Summary of a research paper or document.
The abstract of the article provided a concise overview of its contents.
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Nov 22, 2023

Concrete

Existing in reality or in real experience; perceptible by the senses; real
Concrete objects such as trees.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Considered apart from concrete existence
An abstract concept.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Formed by the coalescence of separate particles or parts into one mass; solid.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Not applied or practical; theoretical.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Made of hard, strong, conglomerate construction material.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Difficult to understand; abstruse
Abstract philosophical problems.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

A hard, strong construction material consisting of sand, conglomerate gravel, pebbles, broken stone, or slag in a mortar or cement matrix.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Denoting something that is immaterial, conceptual, or nonspecific, as an idea or quality
Abstract words like truth and justice.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

A mass formed by the coalescence of particles.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Impersonal, as in attitude or views.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

To build, treat, or cover with hard, strong conglomerate construction material.
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Abstract

Having an intellectual and affective artistic content that depends solely on intrinsic form rather than on narrative content or pictorial representation
Abstract painting and sculpture.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

To form into a mass by coalescence or cohesion of particles or parts.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

A statement summarizing the important points of a text.
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Concrete

To harden; solidify.
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Abstract

Something abstract.
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Concrete

Real, actual, tangible.
Fuzzy videotapes and distorted sound recordings are not concrete evidence that Bigfoot exists.
Once arrested, I realized that handcuffs are concrete, even if my concept of what is legal wasn’t.
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Abstract

An abstract of title.
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Concrete

Being or applying to actual things, not abstract qualities or categories.
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Abstract

To take away; remove
Abstract the most important data from a set of records.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Particular, specific, rather than general.
While everyone else offered thoughts and prayers, she made a concrete proposal to help.
Concrete ideas
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To remove without permission; steal
A painting that was abstracted from the museum.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

United by coalescence of separate particles, or liquid, into one mass or solid.
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Abstract

To consider (an idea, for example) as separate from particular examples or objects
Abstract a principle of arrangement from a series of items.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Made of concrete, a building material.
The office building had concrete flower boxes out front.
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Abstract

(ăbstrăkt′) To write a summary of; summarize
Abstract a long article in a paragraph.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

(obsolete) A solid mass formed by the coalescence of separate particles; a compound substance, a concretion.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To create artistic abstractions of (something else, such as a concrete object or another style)
"The Bauhaus Functionalists were ... busy unornamenting and abstracting modern architecture, painting and design" (John Barth).
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Concrete

Specifically, a building material created by mixing cement, water, and aggregate such as gravel and sand.
The road was made of concrete that had been poured in large slabs.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

An abridgement or summary of a longer publication.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

(logic) A term designating both a quality and the subject in which it exists; a concrete term.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Something that concentrates in itself the qualities of a larger item, or multiple items.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Sugar boiled down from cane juice to a solid mass.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Concentrated essence of a product.
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Concrete

(US) A dessert of frozen custard with various toppings.
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Abstract

(medicine) A powdered solid extract of a medicinal substance mixed with lactose.
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Concrete

(chemistry) An extract of herbal materials that has a semi-solid consistency, especially when such materials are partly aromatic.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

An abstraction; an abstract term; that which is abstract.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

To cover with or encase in concrete (building material).
I hate grass, so I concreted over my lawn.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

The theoretical way of looking at things; something that exists only in idealized form.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

To solidify: to change from being abstract to being concrete (actual, real).
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

(arts) An abstract work of art.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

To unite or coalesce into a mass or a solid body.
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Abstract

(real estate) A summary title of the key points detailing a tract of land, for ownership; abstract of title.
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Concrete

United in growth; hence, formed by coalition of separate particles into one mass; united in a solid form.
The first concrete state, or consistent surface, of the chaos must be of the same figure as the last liquid state.
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Abstract

(obsolete) Derived; extracted.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Standing for an object as it exists in nature, invested with all its qualities, as distinguished from standing for an attribute of an object; - opposed to abstract.
Concrete is opposed to abstract. The names of individuals are concrete, those of classes abstract.
Concrete terms, while they express the quality, do also express, or imply, or refer to, some subject to which it belongs.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Drawn away; removed from; apart from; separate.
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Concrete

A compound or mass formed by concretion, spontaneous union, or coalescence of separate particles of matter in one body.
To divide all concretes, minerals and others, into the same number of distinct substances.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Not concrete: conceptual, ideal.
Her new film is an abstract piece, combining elements of magic realism, flashbacks, and animation but with very little in terms of plot construction.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

A mixture of gravel, pebbles, or broken stone with cement or with tar, etc., used for sidewalks, roadways, foundations, etc., and esp. for submarine structures.
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Abstract

Insufficiently factual.
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Concrete

A term designating both a quality and the subject in which it exists; a concrete term.
The concretes "father" and "son" have, or might have, the abstracts "paternity" and "filiety".
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Apart from practice or reality; vague; theoretical; impersonal; not applied.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Sugar boiled down from cane juice to a solid mass.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

(grammar) As a noun, denoting a concept or intangible as opposed to an object, place, or person.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

To unite or coalesce, as separate particles, into a mass or solid body.
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Abstract

Difficult to understand; abstruse; hard to conceptualize.
The politician gave a somewhat abstract answer when asked about their plans to cut spending.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

To form into a mass, as by the cohesion or coalescence of separate particles.
There are in our inferior world divers bodies that are concreted out of others.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Separately expressing a property or attribute of an object that is considered to be inherent to that object: attributive, ascriptive.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

To cover with, or form of, concrete, as a pavement.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Pertaining comprehensively to, or representing, a class or group of objects, as opposed to any specific object; considered apart from any application to a particular object: general, generic, nonspecific; representational.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

A strong hard building material composed of sand and gravel and cement and water
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

(archaic) Absent-minded.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Cover with cement;
Concrete the walls
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

(arts) Pertaining to the formal aspect of art, such as the lines, colors, shapes, and the relationships among them.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Form into a solid mass; coalesce
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Abstract

Free from representational qualities, in particular the non-representational styles of the 20th century.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Capable of being perceived by the senses; not abstract or imaginary;
Concrete objects such as trees
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Abstract

(music) Absolute.
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Concrete

Formed by the coalescence of particles
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Abstract

(dance) Lacking a story.
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Concrete

Existing in a form that can be touched or seen.
The instructions were concrete, detailing every step clearly.
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Nov 22, 2023

Abstract

Being a partial basis for subclasses rather than a complete template for objects.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Specific, definite, and not vague.
She gave concrete examples to support her argument.
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Nov 22, 2023

Abstract

(transitive) To separate; to disengage.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Practical and focused on real situations.
His approach to problem-solving is very concrete.
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Nov 22, 2023

Abstract

(transitive) To remove; to take away; withdraw.
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Oct 19, 2023

Concrete

Representing tangible and physical objects or entities.
Concrete nouns like 'cat' and 'house' refer to things we can observe.
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Nov 22, 2023

Abstract

To steal; to take away; to remove without permission.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

(transitive) To summarize; to abridge; to epitomize.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To conceptualize an ideal subgroup by means of the generalization of an attribute, as follows: by apprehending an attribute inherent to one individual, then separating that attribute and contemplating it by itself, then conceiving of that attribute as a general quality, then despecifying that conceived quality with respect to several or many individuals, and by then ideating a group composed of those individuals perceived to possess said quality.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To extract by means of distillation.
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Abstract

(transitive) To consider abstractly; to contemplate separately or by itself; to consider theoretically; to look at as a general quality.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To withdraw oneself; to retire.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

(transitive) To draw off (interest or attention).
He was wholly abstracted by other objects.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To perform the process of abstraction.
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Abstract

To create abstractions.
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Abstract

To produce an abstraction, usually by refactoring existing code. Generally used with "out".
He abstracted out the square root function.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Withdraw; separate.
The more abstract . . . we are from the body.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Considered apart from any application to a particular object; separated from matter; existing in the mind only; as, abstract truth, abstract numbers. Hence: ideal; abstruse; difficult.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Expressing a particular property of an object viewed apart from the other properties which constitute it; - opposed to concrete; as, honesty is an abstract word.
A concrete name is a name which stands for a thing; an abstract name which stands for an attribute of a thing. A practice has grown up in more modern times, which, if not introduced by Locke, has gained currency from his example, of applying the expression "abstract name" to all names which are the result of abstraction and generalization, and consequently to all general names, instead of confining it to the names of attributes.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

Abstracted; absent in mind.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To withdraw; to separate; to take away.
He was incapable of forming any opinion or resolution abstracted from his own prejudices.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To draw off in respect to interest or attention; as, his was wholly abstracted by other objects.
The young stranger had been abstracted and silent.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To separate, as ideas, by the operation of the mind; to consider by itself; to contemplate separately, as a quality or attribute.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To epitomize; to abridge.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To take secretly or dishonestly; to purloin; as, to abstract goods from a parcel, or money from a till.
Von Rosen had quietly abstracted the bearing-reins from the harness.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To separate, as the more volatile or soluble parts of a substance, by distillation or other chemical processes. In this sense extract is now more generally used.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

To perform the process of abstraction.
I own myself able to abstract in one sense.
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Oct 19, 2023

Abstract

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.
An abstract of every treatise he had read.
Man, the abstractOf all perfection, which the workmanshipOf Heaven hath modeled.
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Abstract

A state of separation from other things; as, to consider a subject in the abstract, or apart from other associated things.
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Abstract

An abstract term.
The concretes "father" and "son" have, or might have, the abstracts "paternity" and "filiety."
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Abstract

A powdered solid extract of a vegetable substance mixed with sugar of milk in such proportion that one part of the abstract represents two parts of the original substance.
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Abstract

A concept or idea not associated with any specific instance;
He loved her only in the abstract--not in person
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Abstract

A sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory
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Abstract

Consider a concept without thinking of a specific example; consider abstractly or theoretically
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Abstract

Make off with belongings of others
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Abstract

Consider apart from a particular case or instance;
Let's abstract away from this particular example
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Abstract

Give an abstract (of)
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Abstract

Existing only in the mind; separated from embodiment;
Abstract words like `truth' and `justice'
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Abstract

Not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature;
A large abstract painting
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Abstract

Based on specialized theory;
A theoretical analysis
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Abstract

Dealing with a subject in the abstract without practical purpose or intention;
Abstract reasoning
Abstract science
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Abstract

Intellectual and not related to concrete aspects.
Abstract thinking is necessary for understanding complex theories.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can someone's thinking be both abstract and concrete?

Yes, people can switch between abstract and concrete thinking based on the context.
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Nov 22, 2023

Are abstract concepts harder to understand than concrete ones?

Often, as abstract concepts are more theoretical and less directly observable.
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Nov 22, 2023

Is mathematics abstract or concrete?

It's largely abstract, dealing with concepts beyond physical objects.
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Nov 22, 2023

Are all scientific concepts abstract?

Many are, but some can be concrete, especially in fields like physics or biology.
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Nov 22, 2023

Is poetry abstract or concrete?

It can be both, depending on whether it deals with tangible subjects or conceptual themes.
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Nov 22, 2023

Can concrete examples help in understanding abstract concepts?

Yes, they can make abstract ideas easier to grasp.
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Nov 22, 2023

Can children understand abstract concepts?

As they grow older, they develop the ability to understand more abstract ideas.
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Nov 22, 2023

Can art be both abstract and concrete?

Yes, some art pieces combine abstract and concrete elements.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Can an idea be both abstract and concrete?

Not usually; abstract ideas are theoretical, while concrete ideas are tangible.
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Nov 22, 2023

Are emotions abstract or concrete?

Emotions are abstract, as they are feelings without physical form.
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Nov 22, 2023

Are abstract nouns always intangible?

Yes, they represent ideas, states, or qualities, not physical objects.
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Nov 22, 2023

Is psychology an abstract or concrete study?

It involves studying abstract concepts like the mind, though it uses concrete methods.
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Nov 22, 2023

Is learning always based on concrete examples?

Not always; abstract reasoning is also a key part of learning.
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Nov 22, 2023

Are laws abstract or concrete?

The principles behind laws are abstract, but their application is concrete.
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Nov 22, 2023

Are concrete examples necessary for teaching abstract concepts?

They are often helpful to provide clarity and context.
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Nov 22, 2023

Is history taught as an abstract or concrete subject?

It's often a mix, with concrete events and abstract concepts like societal change.
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Nov 22, 2023

Is philosophy abstract or concrete?

It's largely abstract, dealing with theoretical concepts.
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Nov 22, 2023

Can one be creative in both abstract and concrete ways?

Absolutely, creativity can manifest in both theoretical and tangible forms.
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Nov 22, 2023

Can technology be abstract?

The underlying concepts can be abstract, but its application is usually concrete.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Can a concrete approach simplify complex abstract ideas?

Yes, by providing tangible examples or applications.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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