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The professor’s lectures were so abstruse that students tended to avoid them.
  difficult to understand; or not known by the great majority of people
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abstruse abstruseness
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  • The professor’s lectures were so abstruse that students tended to avoid them.
  • She wanted a bottom-line answer without the abstruse analysis.
  • She understands abstruse issues of computer security.
  • But I had no inclination for the law, even in this less abstruse study of it, which my family approved.
    Austen, Jane  --  Sense and Sensibility

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  • Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere.
    Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan  --  Sign of the Four
  • Even while he is talking to us some abstruse point in the classics is occupying his mind.
    Wodehouse, Pelham Grenville  --  The Man Upstairs and Other Stories
  • The resultant contradictions prevent higher level abstractions from being made and rationalizations for beliefs held thus becoming increasingly abstruse and attenuated.
    Faith and rationality - Wikipedia  -- 05/20/06)
  • ...the argument as to what they were supposedly arguing about grew extraordinarily involved and abstruse,
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • At sixteen, he made his way through Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead’s famously abstruse masterpiece Principia Mathematica.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • Dr. Bell is proficient in many fields of science, and has the art of making every subject he touches interesting, even the most abstruse theories.
    Helen Keller  --  Story of My Life

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  • There are scholars among them, who had spent more years in acquiring abstruse lore, connected with the divine profession, than Mr. Dimmesdale had lived; and who might well, therefore, be more profoundly versed in such solid and valuable attainments than their youthful brother.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • studious thoughts abstruse
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • Here the class was reciting a lesson from an abstruse text-book on economics, reciting it by rote, with so obvious a failure to assimilate it that the waste of labour was pitiful.
    Booker T. Washington  --  Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
  • But I had no inclination for the law, even in this less abstruse study of it, which my family approved.
    Jane Austen  --  Sense and Sensibility
  • They have fallen into the gross but common error of confounding the unusual with the abstruse.
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  The Murders in the Rue Morgue
  • The subject is not so abstruse as I thought it was.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Besides, in our day, the very ABC has become a science greatly too abstruse to be any longer taught by pointing a pin from letter to letter.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • It’s less . . . abstruse.
    Edward Albee  --  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • abstruse matter
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • Newt and the Raineys left the more abstruse questions to others and spent most of their time trying to reckon the economics of a visit to town.
    Larry McMurtry  --  Lonesome Dove
  • But our most popular prophets were undoubtedly those who in an apocalyptic jargon had announced sequences of events, any one of which might be construed as applicable to the present state of affairs and was abstruse enough to admit of almost any interpretation.
    Albert Camus  --  The Plague
  • In a thousand ways he smoothed for me the path of knowledge and made the most abstruse inquiries clear and facile to my apprehension.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • In this abstruse pursuit; in making an account for Peggotty, of all the property into which she had come; in arranging all the affairs in an orderly manner; and in being her referee and adviser on every point, to our joint delight; I passed the week before the funeral.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • Even the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California described the field in arcane and abstruse language, defining it as the study of mankind’s "direct and immediate access to knowledge beyond what is available to our normal senses and the power of reason."
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
  • And this is incident to none but those, that converse in questions of matters incomprehensible, as the Schoole-men; or in questions of abstruse Philosophy.
    Thomas Hobbes  --  Leviathan
  • He was like a mathematician with an abstruse problem—worrying over it, but worrying very calmly and impersonally.
    James Hilton  --  Lost Horizon
  • Bathsheba dropped into a silence intended to express that she had opinions on the matter too abstruse for Liddy’s comprehension, rather than that she had nothing to say.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • This she read steadily, from beginning to end, in a sweet, low and plaintive voice; hoping devoutly that the allegorical and abstruse sentences might convey to the heart of the sufferer the consolation he needed.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • Readily; I have solved others of an abstruseness ten thousand times greater.
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  The Gold-Bug
  • When she returned she brought her prayer-book with her, and her uncle the Dean’s famous book of sermons, out of which she never failed to read every Sabbath; not understanding all, haply, not pronouncing many of the words aright, which were long and abstruse—for the Dean was a learned man, and loved long Latin words—but with great gravity, vast emphasis, and with tolerable correctness in the main.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • Is it to discuss abstruse questions of political economy?
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • Indeed upon any theme of the most admired, because simply the most abstruse of the boasted erudition of the academy, have I ever found Ligeia at fault?
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  Ligeia
  • The consequence of this desultory kind of priesthood was, as we have already intimated, a great diversity of opinion on the more abstruse points of faith.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • The most abstruse, the most far-reaching, perhaps the most chastened of the poet’s thoughts, crowd on the imagination as he gazes into the depths of the illimitable void.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pathfinder
  • Very abstract, abstruse, or subtle: often used derogatorily of reasoning.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • He had read a great deal, chiefly delighting in books which were unusual; and he poured forth his stores of abstruse knowledge with childlike enjoyment of the amazement of his hearers.
    W. Somerset Maugham  --  Of Human Bondage
  • And from the joining of two of these abstruse cracks, a thin spill of sand was running, as if something on the other side was digging itself through with slobbering, agonized intensity.
    Stephen King  --  The Gunslinger
  • The theory behind it is so inordinately abstruse that the Fowlers, in "The King’s English,"[29] require 20 pages to explain it, and even then they come to the resigned conclusion that the task is hopeless.
    Henry L. Mencken  --  The American Language
  • The objects of geometrical inquiry are so entirely abstracted from those pursuits which stir up and put in motion the unruly passions of the human heart, that mankind, without difficulty, adopt not only the more simple theorems of the science, but even those abstruse paradoxes which, however they may appear susceptible of demonstration, are at variance with the natural conceptions which the mind, without the aid of philosophy, would be led to entertain upon the subject.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • …drawling accent, to an immobile audience of Berghof residents and for which he always wore a frock coat and sandals, no longer dealt with masked forms of love in action or the transformation of illness back into conscious emotion, but with the abstruse oddities of hypnotism and somnambulism, the phenomena of telepathy, prophetic dreams, and second sight, the wonders of hysteria; and as he discussed these topics, philosophic horizons expanded until suddenly his audience beheld great…
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • Abstruse speculations contain vertigo; no, there is nothing to indicate that he risked his mind in apocalypses.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
    Edward Albee  --  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • Religion declines, and patriotism; law and justice become abstruse questions of metaphysics; the younger generation grows dangerous and irrational, shameless, selfish, anarchistic.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • As he made his way down the streets assigned to him he could talk with people or fall away into the abstruse speculations of a soul turned inward, whichever he pleased.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • Conway, during a rapid glance at some of the shelves, found much to astonish him; the world’s best literature was there, it seemed, as well as a great deal of abstruse and curious stuff that he could not appraise.
    James Hilton  --  Lost Horizon
  • Others, whose briefer span forbade their devoting themselves to studies so abstruse, beguiled the little tedium of the way with penny-papers.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • He could quote things at great length (there was no way for them to know whether he was really quoting or inventing) and he had an uncanny ability to turn any trifling remark into an abstruse speculation wherein things that were plain as day to common sense became ominous, uncertain, and formidable, like buttresses of ruined cities discovered in deep shadow at the bottom of a blue inland sea.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • But, though stimulated by mental excitement and wine, two hours of abstruse logic were thrown away on this subject; for he declined their advice, with a pertinacity truly astonishing in so polite a man.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • These characters, as any one might readily guess, form a cipher—that is to say, they convey a meaning; but then, from what is known of Kidd, I could not suppose him capable of constructing any of the more abstruse cryptographs.
    Edgar Allan Poe  --  The Gold-Bug
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Associated words [difficulty]:   abstruse [8]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Philosophy, Logic & Reasoning, Religion - Christianity
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