Abstruse vs Unknown - What's the difference?

abstruse | unknown | Related terms |

Abstruse is a related term of unknown.

As adjectives the difference between abstruse and unknown

is that abstruse is (obsolete) concealed or hidden out of the way; secret while unknown is not known; unidentified; not well known.

As a noun unknown is

(algebra) a variable (usually x'', ''y'' or ''z ) whose value is to be found.




  • (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





  • Not known; unidentified; not well known.
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=4 , passage=The Celebrity, by arts unknown , induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on an afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. The three returned wondering and charmed with Mrs. Cooke; they were sure she had had no hand in the furnishing of that atrocious house.}}


    * anonymous * unfamiliar * uncharted * undiscovered * unexplored * unidentified * unnamed * unrecognized * unrevealed * unascertained * obscure * unsung


    (en noun)
  • (algebra) A variable (usually x'', ''y'' or ''z ) whose value is to be found.
  • Any fact or place about which nothing is known (as in the phrase "into the unknown").
  • A person of no identity; a nonentity
  • * 1965 , (Bob Dylan), (Like a Rolling Stone)
  • How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?