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
At this intelligence, in which he seemingly evinced little interest, Mr Bloom gazed abstractedly for the space of a half a second or so in the direction of a bucketdredger, rejoicing in the farfamed name of Eblana, moored alongside Customhouse quay and quite possibly out of repair, whereupon he observed evasively: —Everybody gets their own ration of luck, they say.
There are no more uses of "abstract" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.
Show samples from other sources
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.
Commendatore Beninobenone having been extricated from underneath the presidential armchair, it was explained by his legal adviser Avvocato Pagamimi that the various articles secreted in his thirtytwo pockets had been abstracted by him during the affray from the pockets of his junior colleagues in the hope of bringing them to their senses.
The prohibition of the use of fleshmeat and milk at one meal: the hebdomadary symposium of incoordinately abstract, perfervidly concrete mercantile coexreligionist excompatriots: the circumcision of male infants: the supernatural character of Judaic scripture: the ineffability of the tetragrammaton: the sanctity of the sabbath.