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Vocabulary Word

Word: abstract

Definition: theoretical; not concrete; nonrepresentational


Sentences Containing 'abstract'

The convention will be more natural or more abstract according to the nature of the thing to be conveyed and the medium employed to express it.
But however abstract and unnaturalistic the manner adopted, if it has been truly felt by the artist as the right means of expressing his emotional idea, it will have life and should not be called conventional in the commonly accepted offensive use of the term.
There is, as it were, an abstract music of line, tone, and color.
The work after this usually shows an increased concern with naturalistic truth, which is always very popular, to the gradual exclusion of the backbone of abstract line and form significance that dominated the earlier work.
But an emotional significance depending on some arrangement of abstract lines is to be found underlying the expression in every good picture, carefully hidden as it is by all great artists.
The illustrations to this chapter have been drawn in diagrammatical form in order to try and show that the musical quality of lines and the emotions they are capable of calling up are not dependent upon truth to natural forms but are inherent in abstract arrangements themselves.
And whenever you get long vertical lines in a composition, no matter whether it be a cathedral interior, a pine forest, or a row of scaffold poles, you will always have the particular feeling associated with rows of vertical lines in the abstract.
This structure of abstract lines at the basis of a picture will be more or less overlaid with the truths of nature, and all the rich variety of natural forms, according to the requirements of the subject.
In the charcoal scribble illustrating this composition I have tried carefully to avoid any drawing in the figures or trees to show how the tone music depends not so much on truth to natural appearances as on the abstract arrangement of tone values and their rhythmic play.
Have abstract proportions any significance in art, as we found abstract line and mass arrangements had?
It should not be by their architecture, but why not even by their power of abstract thought, that nations should seek to commemorate themselves?
The former was a sort of cyclopaedia to him, which he supposed to contain an abstract of human knowledge, as indeed it does to a considerable extent.
The one is a plain palpable object; the other an abstract notion, which though it can be made sufficiently intelligible, is not altogether so natural and obvious.
The abstract improbability of such a tendency being transmitted through a vast number of generations, is not greater than that of quite useless or rudimentary organs being similarly transmitted.
Our great authority on Fishes, Dr. Gunther, concludes his abstract of Malm's paper, by remarking that "the author gives a very simple explanation of the abnormal condition of the Pleuronectoids."
I wish I had space here to give a fuller abstract of Mr. Agassiz's interesting observations on the development of the pedicellariae.
But it is impossible to resist the evidence of the existence of a certain amount of sterility in the few following cases, which I will briefly abstract.
I can give here only the briefest abstract of the more important facts.
To them a venta conveyed no idea but the abstract one of a roadside inn, and they could not therefore do full justice to the humour of Don Quixote's misconception in taking it for a castle, or perceive the remoteness of all its realities from his ideal.
Though their speculations seem abstract, and even unintelligible to common readers, they aim at the approbation of the learned and the wise; and think themselves sufficiently compensated for the labour of their whole lives, if they can discover some hidden truths, which may contribute to the instruction of posterity.
This also must be confessed, that the most durable, as well as justest fame, has been acquired by the easy philosophy, and that abstract reasoners seem hitherto to have enjoyed only a momentary reputation, from the caprice or ignorance of their own age, but have not been able to support their renown with more equitable posterity.
Were the generality of mankind contented to prefer the easy philosophy to the abstract and profound, without throwing any blame or contempt on the latter, it might not be improper, perhaps, to comply with this general opinion, and allow every man to enjoy, without opposition, his own taste and sentiment.
What though these reasonings concerning human nature seem abstract, and of difficult comprehension?
All ideas, especially abstract ones, are naturally faint and obscure: the mind has but a slender hold of them: they are apt to be confounded with other resembling ideas; and when we have often employed any term, though without a distinct meaning, we are apt to imagine it has a determinate idea annexed to it.
Every part of mixed mathematics proceeds upon the supposition that certain laws are established by nature in her operations; and abstract reasonings are employed, either to assist experience in the discovery of these laws, or to determine their influence in particular instances, where it depends upon any precise degree of distance and quantity.
Geometry assists us in the application of this law, by giving us the just dimensions of all the parts and figures which can enter into any species of machine; but still the discovery of the law itself is owing merely to experience, and all the abstract reasonings in the world could never lead us one step towards the knowledge of it.
Now whatever is intelligible, and can be distinctly conceived, implies no contradiction, and can never be proved false by any demonstrative argument or abstract reasoning _a priori_.
Nature will always maintain her rights, and prevail in the end over any abstract reasoning whatsoever.
By this means we may meet with some explications and analogies that will give satisfaction; at least to such as love the abstract sciences, and can be entertained with speculations, which, however accurate, may still retain a degree of doubt and uncertainty.
In all abstract reasonings there is one point of view which, if we can happily hit, we shall go farther towards illustrating the subject than by all the eloquence and copious expression in the world.
They endeavour to find objections, both to our abstract reasonings, and to those which regard matter of fact and existence.
The absurdity of these bold determinations of the abstract sciences seems to become, if possible, still more palpable with regard to time than extension.
So that nothing can be more sceptical, or more full of doubt and hesitation, than this scepticism itself, which arises from some of the paradoxical conclusions of geometry or the science of quantity.[33] [33] It seems to me not impossible to avoid these absurdities and contradictions, if it be admitted, that there is no such thing as abstract or general ideas, properly speaking; but that all general ideas are, in reality, particular ones, attached to a general term, which recalls, upon occasion, other particular ones, that resemble, in certain circumstances, the idea, present to the mind.
It seems to me, that the only objects of the abstract science or of demonstration are quantity and number, and that all attempts to extend this more perfect species of knowledge beyond these bounds are mere sophistry and illusion.
If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, _Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number?_ No.
It was occasioned, I suppose, by the reverend nature of respectability in the abstract, but I felt particularly young in this man's presence.
These were few enough, to be sure; but as we always fell back upon Blood, she had as wide a field for abstract speculation as her nephew himself.
A difference of opinion had arisen between herself and Mrs. Crupp, on an abstract question (the propriety of chambers being inhabited by the gentler sex); and my aunt, utterly indifferent to spasms on the part of Mrs. Crupp, had cut the dispute short, by informing that lady that she smelt of my brandy, and that she would trouble her to walk out.
There seemed to be few, if any, abstract terms, or little use of figurative language.
“‘That the said Quinbus Flestrin, contrary to the duty of a faithful subject, is now preparing to make a voyage to the court and empire of Blefuscu, for which he has received only verbal license from his imperial majesty; and, under colour of the said license, does falsely and traitorously intend to take the said voyage, and thereby to aid, comfort, and abet the emperor of Blefuscu, so lately an enemy, and in open war with his imperial majesty aforesaid.’ “There are some other articles; but these are the most important, of which I have read you an abstract.
He was a stript abstract; an unfractioned integral; uncompromised as a new-born babe; living without premeditated reference to this world or the next.

More Vocab Words

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::: prehensile - capable of grasping or holding (esp. by wrapping around); Ex. prehensile tails
::: platonic - purely spiritual; theoretical; without sensual desire
::: canard - unfounded false rumor; exaggerated false report
::: parasite - animal or plant living on another; toady; sycophant; CF. para-: beside
::: rotunda - circular building or hall covered with a dome
::: compile - assemble; gather; accumulate; make (a report or a book) from facts and information found in various places; Ex. compile a dictionary
::: scintillate - sparkle; flash; be animated; be full of life; Ex. scintillating conversation
::: tribulation - suffering; ordeal; distress; trial