From French abstrus or its source, Latin abstrūsus (“hidden, concealed”), the perfect passive participle of abstrūdō (“conceal, to push away”), itself from ab, abs (“away”) + trūdō (“thrust, push”). Cognate with German abstrus.
- (obsolete) Concealed or hidden out of the way; secret. [Attested from the late 16th century until the mid 18th century.]
1612, Thomas Shelton, chapter 15, in The History of the Valorous and Wittie Knight-Errant Don-Quixote of the Mancha, translation of original by Miguel de Cervantes, part 4, page 500:
- O who is he that could carrie newes to our olde father, that thou wert but aliue, although thou wert hidden in the most abstruse dungeons of Barbarie; for his riches, my brothers and mine would fetch thee from thence.
1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost:
- The eternal eye whose sight discerns abstrusest thoughts.
- Difficult to comprehend or understand; recondite; obscure; esoteric. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
1548, Bishop John Hooper, “Curiosity”, in A Declaration of the Ten Holy Comaundementes of Almygthye God, page 218:
- […] at the end of his cogitacions, fyndithe more abstruse, and doutfull obiections then at the beginning […]
1748, David Hume, Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral., London: Oxford University Press, published 1973, 13:
- It is certain that the easy and obvious philosophy will always, with the generality of mankind, have the preference above the accurate and abstruse; […]
1855, Henry Hart Milman, History of Latin Christianity:
- Profound and abstruse topics.
difficult to comprehend
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
- Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 , ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 10
- ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 , ISBN 0-87779-101-5), page 8
- ^ Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 , ISBN 0-394-43600-8), page 7
- abstruse in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- abstruse in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- inflected form of