To see Multiple Meanings of
abstract
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Multiple Meanings
abstract — as in:  abstract thought

We all agree that we want what’s "best for the country", but that is an abstract concept and we cannot agree on which specific laws should be passed.
of a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance

or more rarely:

describing someone as distracted — thinking about something outside of the immediate conversation or circumstances
abstract — as in:  read the abstract

The abstract is free, but there is a fee to see the entire article.
a summary; or to summarize — especially academic writing
abstract — as in:  abstract art

She is an abstract painter.
not representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature

Much more rarely, in classic literature, abstract can refer to someone lost in thought, as in:
  • one of Doyle’s descriptions of Sherlock Holmes:  "I observed that he sat frequently for half an hour on end, with knitted brows and an abstracted air,"
  • Oscar Wilde’s, The Importance of Being Earnest,:  "In a moment of mental abstraction, for which I never can forgive myself, I deposited the manuscript in the bassinette, and placed the baby in the hand-bag."


Much more rarely abstract can refer to anything taken out of or separated from something else, or something stolen, as in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes where Doyle wrote:  "...a plumber, was accused of having abstracted it from the lady’s jewel-case."
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