Abstraction vs Absent - What's the difference?

abstraction | absent |

As nouns the difference between abstraction and absent

is that abstraction is the act of abstracting, separating, withdrawing, or taking away; withdrawal; the state of being taken away while absent is (obsolete) absentee; a person who is away on occasion .

As an adjective absent is

(not comparable) being away from a place; withdrawn from a place; not present; missing

As a preposition absent is

(legal) in the absence of; without .

As a verb absent is

(transitive|now|reflexive) keep away; stay away; go away .




  • The act of abstracting, separating, withdrawing, or taking away; withdrawal; the state of being taken away.
  • * 1848 , , Principles of Political Economy with some of their Applications to Social Philosophy :
  • The cancelling of the debt would be no destruction of wealth, but a transfer of it: a wrongful abstraction of wealth from certain members of the community, for the profit of the government, or of the tax-payers.
  • # (euphemistic) The taking surreptitiously for one's own use part of the property of another; purloining.
  • # (engineering) Removal of water from a river, lake, or aquifer.
  • A separation from worldly objects; a recluse life, as a hermit's abstraction ; the withdrawal from one's senses.
  • The act of focusing on one characteristic of an object rather than the object as a whole group of characteristics; the act of separating said qualities from the object or ideas.
  • * W. Hamilton, in Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic (1860), Lecture XXXV, page 474:
  • Abstraction is no positive act: it is simply the negative of attention.
    Abstraction is necessary for the classification of things into genera and species.
  • The act of comparing commonality between distinct objects and organizing using those similarities; the act of generalizing characteristics; the product of said generalization.
  • An idea or notion of an abstract or theoretical nature.
  • to fight for mere abstractions .
  • Absence or absorption of mind; inattention to present objects; preoccupation.
  • (art) An abstract creation, or piece of art; qualities of artwork that are free from representational aspects.
  • (chemistry) A separation of volatile parts by the act of distillation.
  • An idea of an unrealistic or visionary nature.
  • The result of mentally abstracting an idea; the results of said process.
  • (geology) The merging of two river valleys by the larger of the two deepening and widening so much so, as to assimilate the smaller.
  • (computing) Any generalization technique that ignores or hides details to capture some kind of commonality between different instances for the purpose of controlling the intellectual complexity of engineered systems, particularly software systems.
  • (computing) Any intellectual construct produced through the technique of abstraction.
  • Antonyms

    * (the act of generalization) specialization * (mentally abstracting) concretization

    Derived terms

    * abstractional * abstractionism * abstractionist * abstractive





    Alternative forms


    Etymology 1

    * From (etyl) absent, (etyl) .


  • (not comparable) Being away from a place; withdrawn from a place; not present; missing.
  • * 1623 , (William Shakespeare), All’s Well That Ends Well, II-iii
  • Expecting absent friends.
  • (not comparable) Not existing; lacking.
  • The part was rudimental or absent .
  • (sometimes, comparable) Inattentive to what is passing; absent-minded; preoccupied.
  • * 1746-1747 , Chesterfield, Letters to his Son
  • What is commonly called an absent man is commonly either a very weak or a very affected man.
    * present


    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) Absentee; a person who is away on occasion.
  • Preposition

    (English prepositions)
  • (legal) In the absence of; without.
  • * 1919 , State vs. Britt, Supreme Court of Missouri, Division 2, in The Southwestern Reporter , page 427
  • If the accused refuse upon demand to pay money or deliver property (absent any excuse or excusing circumstance) which came into his hands as a bailee, such refusal might well constitute some evidence of conversion, with the requisite fraudulent intent required by the statute.
  • * 2011 , David Elstein, letter, London Review of Books , XXXIII.15:
  • the Princess Caroline case [...] established that – absent a measurable ‘public interest’ in publication – she was safe from being photographed while out shopping.

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) absenter, from .


    (en verb)
  • (transitive, now, reflexive) Keep away; stay away; go away.
  • *
  • Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more;
  • * 1701-1703 , , "Remarks on Italy"
  • If after due summons any member absents himself, he is to be fined.
  • *
  • This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.
  • (obsolete) Stay away; withdraw.
  • (rare) Leave.
  • Anagrams



    English heteronyms ----