Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Abstention adjective [ French See Abstain .] The act of abstaining; a holding aloof. Jer. Taylor.

Abstentious adjective Characterized by abstinence; self-restraining. Farrar.

Absterge transitive verb [ Latin abstergere , abstersum ; ab , abs + tergere to wipe. Confer F absterger .] To make clean by wiping; to wipe away; to cleanse; hence, to purge. [ R.] Quincy.

Abstergent adjective [ Latin abstergens , present participle of abstergere .] Serving to cleanse, detergent.

Abstergent noun A substance used in cleansing; a detergent; as, soap is an abstergent .

Absterse transitive verb To absterge; to cleanse; to purge away. [ Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

Abstersion noun [ French abstersion . See Absterge .] Act of wiping clean; a cleansing; a purging.

The task of ablution and abstersion being performed.
Sir W. Scott.

Abstersive adjective [ Confer French abstersif . See Absterge .] Cleansing; purging. Bacon.

Abstersive noun Something cleansing.

The strong abstersive of some heroic magistrate.
Milton.

Abstersiveness noun The quality of being abstersive. Fuller.

Abstinence noun [ French abstinence , Latin abstinentia , from abstinere . See Abstain .]
1. The act or practice of abstaining; voluntary forbearance of any action, especially the refraining from an indulgence of appetite, or from customary gratifications of animal or sensual propensities. Specifically, the practice of abstaining from intoxicating beverages, -- called also total abstinence .

The abstinence from a present pleasure that offers itself is a pain, nay, oftentimes, a very great one.
Locke.

2. The practice of self-denial by depriving one's self of certain kinds of food or drink, especially of meat.

Penance, fasts, and abstinence ,
To punish bodies for the soul's offense.
Dryden.

Abstinency noun Abstinence. [ R.]

Abstinent adjective [ French abstinent , Latin abstinens , present participle of abstinere . See Abstain .] Refraining from indulgence, especially from the indulgence of appetite; abstemious; continent; temperate. Beau. & Fl.

Abstinent noun
1. One who abstains.

2. (Eccl. Hist.) One of a sect who appeared in France and Spain in the 3d century.

Abstinently adverb With abstinence.

Abstorted adjective [ As if from abstort , from Latin ab , abs + tortus , past participle of torquere to twist.] Wrested away. [ Obsolete] Bailey.

Abstract (#; 277) adjective [ Latin abstractus , past participle of abstrahere to draw from, separate; ab , abs + trahere to draw. See Trace .]
1. Withdraw; separate. [ Obsolete]

The more abstract . . . we are from the body.
Norris.

2. 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.

3. (Logic) (a) 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. J. S. Mill. (b) Resulting from the mental faculty of abstraction; general as opposed to particular; as, "reptile" is an abstract or general name. Locke.

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.
J. S. Mill.

4. Abstracted; absent in mind. " Abstract , as in a trance." Milton.

An abstract idea (Metaph.) , an idea separated from a complex object, or from other ideas which naturally accompany it; as the solidity of marble when contemplated apart from its color or figure. -- Abstract terms , those which express abstract ideas, as beauty, whiteness, roundness, without regarding any object in which they exist; or abstract terms are the names of orders, genera or species of things, in which there is a combination of similar qualities. -- Abstract numbers (Math.) , numbers used without application to things, as 6, 8, 10; but when applied to any thing, as 6 feet, 10 men, they become concrete. -- Abstract or Pure mathematics . See Mathematics .

Abstract transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Abstracted ; present participle & verbal noun Abstracting .] [ See Abstract , adjective ]


1. To withdraw; to separate; to take away.

He was incapable of forming any opinion or resolution abstracted from his own prejudices.
Sir W. Scott.

2. 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.
Blackw. Mag.

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

4. To epitomize; to abridge. Franklin.

5. 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.
W. Black.

6. (Chemistry) 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.

Abstract transitive verb To perform the process of abstraction. [ R.]

I own myself able to abstract in one sense.
Berkeley.

Abstract noun [ See Abstract , adjective ]
1. 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.
Watts.

Man, the abstract
Of all perfection, which the workmanship
Of Heaven hath modeled.
Ford.

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

3. An abstract term.

The concretes "father" and "son" have, or might have, the abstracts "paternity" and "filiety."
J. S. Mill.

4. (Medicine) 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.

Abstract of title (Law) , an epitome of the evidences of ownership.

Syn. -- Abridgment; compendium; epitome; synopsis. See Abridgment .

Abstracted adjective
1. Separated or disconnected; withdrawn; removed; apart.

The evil abstracted stood from his own evil.
Milton.

2. Separated from matter; abstract; ideal. [ Obsolete]

3. Abstract; abstruse; difficult. [ Obsolete] Johnson.

4. Inattentive to surrounding objects; absent in mind. "An abstracted scholar." Johnson.

Abstractedly adverb In an abstracted manner; separately; with absence of mind.

Abstractedness noun The state of being abstracted; abstract character.

Abstracter noun One who abstracts, or makes an abstract.

Abstraction noun [ Confer French abstraction . See Abstract , adjective ]
1. The act of abstracting, separating, or withdrawing, or the state of being withdrawn; withdrawal.

A wrongful abstraction of wealth from certain members of the community.
J. S. Mill.

2. (Metaph.) The act process of leaving out of consideration one or more properties of a complex object so as to attend to others; analysis. Thus, when the mind considers the form of a tree by itself, or the color of the leaves as separate from their size or figure, the act is called abstraction . So, also, when it considers whiteness , softness , virtue , existence , as separate from any particular objects.

» Abstraction is necessary to classification, by which things are arranged in genera and species. We separate in idea the qualities of certain objects, which are of the same kind, from others which are different, in each, and arrange the objects having the same properties in a class, or collected body.

Abstraction is no positive act: it is simply the negative of attention.
Sir W. Hamilton.

3. An idea or notion of an abstract, or theoretical nature; as, to fight for mere abstractions .

4. A separation from worldly objects; a recluse life; as, a hermit's abstraction .

5. Absence or absorption of mind; inattention to present objects.

6. The taking surreptitiously for one's own use part of the property of another; purloining. [ Modern]

7. (Chemistry) A separation of volatile parts by the act of distillation. Nicholson.

Abstractional adjective Pertaining to abstraction.

Abstractionist noun An idealist. Emerson.

Abstractitious adjective Obtained from plants by distillation. [ Obsolete] Crabb.

Abstractive adjective [ Confer French abstractif .] Having the power of abstracting; of an abstracting nature. "The abstractive faculty." I. Taylor.

Abstractively adverb In a abstract manner; separately; in or by itself. Feltham.

Abstractiveness noun The quality of being abstractive; abstractive property.

Abstractly (#; 277) adverb In an abstract state or manner; separately; absolutely; by itself; as, matter abstractly considered.

Abstractness noun The quality of being abstract. "The abstractness of the ideas." Locke.

Abstringe transitive verb [ L ab + stringere , strictum , to press together.] To unbind. [ Obsolete] Bailey.

Abstrude transitive verb [ Latin abstrudere . See Abstruse .] To thrust away. [ Obsolete] Johnson.

Abstruse adjective [ Latin abstrusus , past participle of abstrudere to thrust away, conceal; ab , abs + trudere to thrust; confer French abstrus . See Threat .]
1. Concealed or hidden out of the way. [ Obsolete]

The eternal eye whose sight discerns
Abstrusest thoughts.
Milton.

2. Remote from apprehension; difficult to be comprehended or understood; recondite; as, abstruse learning.

Profound and abstruse topics.
Milman.

Abstrusely adverb In an abstruse manner.

Abstruseness noun The quality of being abstruse; difficulty of apprehension. Boyle.

Abstrusion noun [ Latin abstrusio . See Abstruse .] The act of thrusting away. [ R.] Ogilvie.

Abstrusity (ăb*stru"sĭ*tȳ) noun Abstruseness; that which is abstruse. [ R.] Sir T. Browne.

Absume (ăb*sūm") transitive verb [ Latin absumere , absumptum ; ab + sumere to take.] To consume gradually; to waste away. [ Obsolete] Boyle.

Absumption (ăb*sŭmp"shŭn; 215) noun [ Latin absumptio . See Absume .] Act of wasting away; a consuming; extinction. [ Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

Absurd (ăb*sûrd") adjective [ Latin absurdus harsh-sounding; ab + (prob) a derivative from a root svar to sound; not connected with surd : confer French absurde . See Syringe .] Contrary to reason or propriety; obviously and flatly opposed to manifest truth; inconsistent with the plain dictates of common sense; logically contradictory; nonsensical; ridiculous; as, an absurd person, an absurd opinion; an absurd dream.

This proffer is absurd and reasonless.
Shak.

'This phrase absurd to call a villain great.
Pope. p. 9

Syn. -- Foolish; irrational; ridiculous; preposterous; inconsistent; incongruous. -- Absurd , Irrational , Foolish , Preposterous . Of these terms, irrational is the weakest, denoting that which is plainly inconsistent with the dictates of sound reason; as, an irrational course of life. Foolish rises higher, and implies either a perversion of that faculty, or an absolute weakness or fatuity of mind; as, foolish enterprises. Absurd rises still higher, denoting that which is plainly opposed to received notions of propriety and truth; as, an absurd man, project, opinion, story, argument, etc. Preposterous rises still higher, and supposes an absolute inversion in the order of things; or, in plain terms, a "putting of the cart before the horse;" as, a preposterous suggestion, preposterous conduct, a preposterous regulation or law.

Absurd (ăb*sûrd") noun An absurdity. [ Obsolete] Pope.

Absurdity (-ĭ*tȳ) noun ; plural Absurdities (-tĭz). [ Latin absurditas : confer French absurdite .]
1. The quality of being absurd or inconsistent with obvious truth, reason, or sound judgment. "The absurdity of the actual idea of an infinite number." Locke.

2. That which is absurd; an absurd action; a logical contradiction.

His travels were full of absurdities .
Johnson.

Absurdly adverb In an absurd manner.

Absurdness noun Absurdity. [ R.]

Abuna (ȧ*bō"nȧ) noun [ Eth. and Arabic , our father.] The Patriarch, or head of the Abyssinian Church.

Abundance (ȧ*bŭn"d a ns) noun [ Middle English (h)abundaunce , abundance , French abondance , Latin abundantia , from abundare . See Abound .] An overflowing fullness; ample sufficiency; great plenty; profusion; copious supply; superfluity; wealth: -- strictly applicable to quantity only, but sometimes used of number.

It is lamentable to remember what abundance of noble blood hath been shed with small benefit to the Christian state.
Raleigh.

Syn. -- Exuberance; plenteousness; plenty; copiousness; overflow; riches; affluence; wealth. -- Abundance , Plenty , Exuberance . These words rise upon each other in expressing the idea of fullness. Plenty denotes a sufficiency to supply every want; as, plenty of food, plenty of money, etc. Abundance express more, and gives the idea of superfluity or excess; as, abundance of riches, an abundance of wit and humor; often, however, it only denotes plenty in a high degree. Exuberance rises still higher, and implies a bursting forth on every side, producing great superfluity or redundance; as, an exuberance of mirth, an exuberance of animal spirits, etc.

Abundant adjective [ Middle English (h)abundant , aboundant , French abondant , from Latin abudans , present participle of abundare . See Abound .] Fully sufficient; plentiful; in copious supply; -- followed by in , rarely by with . " Abundant in goodness and truth." Exod. xxxiv. 6.

Abundant number (Math.) , a number, the sum of whose aliquot parts exceeds the number itself. Thus, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, the aliquot parts of 12, make the number 16. This is opposed to a deficient number, as 14, whose aliquot parts are 1, 2, 7, the sum of which is 10; and to a perfect number, which is equal to the sum of its aliquot parts, as 6, whose aliquot parts are 1, 2., 3.

Syn. -- Ample; plentiful; copious; plenteous; exuberant; overflowing; rich; teeming; profuse; bountiful; liberal. See Ample .