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
Peter Keating had never felt the need to formulate abstract convictions.
Architecture is primarily a utilitarian conception, and the problem is to elevate the principle of pragmatism into the realm of esthetic abstraction.
She knew it was the most beautiful face she would ever see, because it was the abstraction of strength made visible.
However, that’s abstraction.
The city became a friendly sight, an abstraction with which no possible communication could be established, like the sky, a spectacle to be admired, but of no direct concern in their lives.
From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man—the function of his reasoning mind.
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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.
And Keating knew that Toohey knew he had never thought of any abstract theme until he’d read that article, and more: that Toohey approved again.
He felt uplifted by the knowledge of his own capacity to respond to the abstract, the profound, the ideal.
It’s no use explaining abstract ideals to me.
Not in a mood for abstract speculation?
He looked abstracted for a moment, as if he were calculating a problem in arithmetic, not too difficult.
First, he felt that abstract theories were nonsense, and if the customers wanted this particular kind, it was perfectly safe to give it to them, and good business, besides.
The men who had gathered every word he cared to drop about the stock market, real estate, advertising, politics, had no interest in his opinion on art, greatness and abstract justice.
But there were men who were impressed by the simple fact that Roark had built a place which made money for owners who didn’t want to make money; this was more convincing than abstract artistic discussions.
"Yes," said Keating, "that was my abstract theme, when I designed the building—the great masses and the flowers of culture.