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Definition difficult to understand; or not known by the great majority of people
  • The professor's lectures were so abstruse that students tended to avoid them.
abstruse = difficult to understand
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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  -- (retrieved 05/20/06)
  • 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 argument as to what they were supposedly arguing about grew extraordinarily involved and abstruse,
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • 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
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • 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
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • studious thoughts abstruse
    John Milton  --  Paradise Lost
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • 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
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • It's less . . . abstruse.
    Edward Albee  --  Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • abstruse = not known by the great majority of people
  • 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
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • At sixteen, he made his way through Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead's famously abstruse masterpiece Principia Mathematica.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • The subject is not so abstruse as I thought it was.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • ...said Sam, with the air of one entering into an abstruse subject,
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • 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
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • abstruse matter
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • abstruse = difficult to understand
  • 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
abstruse = difficult to understand

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