Perplexing vs Abstruse - What's the difference?

perplexing | abstruse |


As adjectives the difference between perplexing and abstruse

is that perplexing is confusing or puzzling while abstruse is (obsolete) concealed or hidden out of the way; secret .

As a verb perplexing

is .

perplexing

English

Adjective

(en adjective)
  • confusing or puzzling
  • bewildering
  • Verb

    (head)
  • abstruse

    English

    Adjective

    (en-adj)
  • (obsolete) Concealed or hidden out of the way; secret.
  • * 1612 , Thomas Shelton (translator), Miguel de Cervantes (Spanish author), The History of the Valorous and Wittie Knight-Errant Don-Quixote of the Mancha , Part 4, Chapter 15, 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 , , Paradise Lost :
  • The eternal eye whose sight discerns abstrusest thoughts.
  • Difficult to comprehend or understand; recondite; obscure; esoteric.
  • * 1548 , Bishop John Hooper, A Declaration of the Ten Holy Comaundementes of Almygthye God , Chapter 17 Curiosity, 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, 1973. ยง 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 , , History of Latin Christianity :
  • Profound and abstruse topics.

    Usage notes

    * More abstruse and most abstruse are the preferred forms over abstruser and abstrusest.

    Derived terms

    * abstrusely * abstruseness

    References