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Abstract   Listen
adjective
Abstract  adj.  
1.
Withdraw; separate. (Obs.) "The more abstract... we are from the body."
2.
Considered apart from any application to a particular object; separated from matter; existing in the mind only; as, abstract truth, abstract numbers. Hence: ideal; abstruse; difficult.
3.
(Logic)
(a)
Expressing a particular property of an object viewed apart from the other properties which constitute it; opposed to concrete; as, honesty is an abstract word.
(b)
Resulting from the mental faculty of abstraction; general as opposed to particular; as, "reptile" is an abstract or general name. "A concrete name is a name which stands for a thing; an abstract name which stands for an attribute of a thing. A practice has grown up in more modern times, which, if not introduced by Locke, has gained currency from his example, of applying the expression "abstract name" to all names which are the result of abstraction and generalization, and consequently to all general names, instead of confining it to the names of attributes."
4.
Abstracted; absent in mind. "Abstract, as in a trance."
An abstract idea (Metaph.), an idea separated from a complex object, or from other ideas which naturally accompany it; as the solidity of marble when contemplated apart from its color or figure.
Abstract terms, those which express abstract ideas, as beauty, whiteness, roundness, without regarding any object in which they exist; or abstract terms are the names of orders, genera or species of things, in which there is a combination of similar qualities.
Abstract numbers (Math.), numbers used without application to things, as 6, 8, 10; but when applied to any thing, as 6 feet, 10 men, they become concrete.
Abstract mathematics or Pure mathematics. See Mathematics.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Abstract" Quotes from Famous Books



... participated in the scenes of the Revolution, on the recurrence of the anniversary, warm not the hearts of their children. With them the Declaration of Independence was a great, and ever-present reality; with us it is only a glorious abstract idea. We are in the midst of the fruition of their faith and earnest aspirations; and, surrounded by the noon-tide radiance of the blessings which have resulted from that act, we can not appreciate the glory of the morning ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 3, July, 1851 • Various

... page,—one almost hears the hum of the factory-wheels, as he reads,—but that is all. It is not to be wondered at that foreigners fail to find our country interesting, and that the only good book of American travels is that of De Tocqueville, who deals chiefly with abstract ideas. It is possible to conceive minds so constituted that they may reach before long the end of their interest in the number of shoes, yards of cotton, and the like, which we produce in a year. The only immortal ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... have been, was but a loose observer of men and manners, printed weekly. Had it not been supported by the government, not a fourth part of the expenses of the proprietor would have been refunded to him by the sale of his newspaper. It was a short abstract of the newspapers of New York and Albany, "accommodated" to the anti-American principles of the Governor, with an epitome of the Quebec Gazette. It was the medium through which the Acts of the Legislature, and the Governor's notices and orders ...
— The Rise of Canada, from Barbarism to Wealth and Civilisation - Volume 1 • Charles Roger

... business corporation, and look at things from a business point of view only, you must remember that they are composed of individuals, and that individuals can be influenced if they can be got at. For instance, Cossey and Son are an abstraction and harshly disposed in their abstract capacity, but Mr. Edward Cossey is an individual, and I should say, so far as this particular matter is concerned, a benevolently disposed individual. Now Mr. Edward Cossey is not himself at the present moment actually one of the firm of Cossey and Son, but he is the hair of the head ...
— Colonel Quaritch, V.C. - A Tale of Country Life • H. Rider Haggard

... other, and the chevalier had all those proper to five-and-twenty years of age; besides, the spirit of the times did not tend to melancholy, that is a modern sentiment, springing from the overthrow of fortunes and the weakness of man. In the eighteenth century it was rare to dream of abstract things, or aspire to the unknown: men went straight to pleasure, glory, or fortune, and all who were handsome, brave or intriguing could attain them. That was the time when people were not ashamed to be happy. Now mind governs matter so much that men dare not avow ...
— The Conspirators - The Chevalier d'Harmental • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... that there was no parallel in the conditions existing in Arizona in Mr. Truscott's time and those of the day in Kansas with Billings. Still, she wanted to contrast the men and their methods, and, as is not unusual, pronounced the abstract statement that "it wasn't so with Mr. Truscott. Then we could have the band night after night." She was only stating a fact, was her mental justification, but that she was doing an injustice she would probably have not admitted ...
— Marion's Faith. • Charles King

... a name. It may be proper (Philip Watkins), or common. Common nouns may be concrete (man, windmill), or abstract (gratitude, nearness). A noun applied to a group is said to be collective (family, race). The uses of a noun are: to serve as the subject of a verb, to serve as the object of a verb or a preposition, to be in apposition with another noun (Jenkins, ...
— The Century Handbook of Writing • Garland Greever

... to this effect dropped from him in his conversations with my brother and others. But, on the whole, the simple fact was that he never ventured to go deeply into the fundamental questions. His official duties left him little time for abstract thought; and his surpassingly ingenious and versatile mind employed itself rather in framing excuses for not answering than in finding thorough answers to possible doubts. He adopted a version of the doctrine ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... Archdeacon, being a good Conservative, disapproved. It worried him sadly, making him actually, if unconsciously, exceedingly jealous. And precisely on that account, by an ingenious inversion of reasoning, he felt he owed it to abstract justice—in other words to his much disgruntled self—to make all possible use of this offending, this renegade personage, when opportunity of so doing occurred. Now, learning on credible authority that Sir Charles's name was still one to conjure with ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... as has been said, some builders worked imaginatively, imitating in the round naves of a few churches the rotunda of the Holy Sepulchre. Other instances of devout imitation might be found, if we looked for them. But the imitation of a concrete model is a different thing from translating abstract mysteries into the plan and elevation of a building. And, although the ground plan with nave, transepts, and chancel, certainly forms a cross; and, although, as time went on, the resemblance to the chief ...
— The Ground Plan of the English Parish Church • A. Hamilton Thompson

... Mr. Bucket. Like man in the abstract, he is here to-day and gone to-morrow—but, very unlike man indeed, he is here again the next day. This evening he will be casually looking into the iron extinguishers at the door of Sir Leicester Dedlock's house in town; and to-morrow morning ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... near at hand. As Andreas also inferred, these chatterings put various notions of an exciting and somewhat disturbing sort into Roschen's little head. If one young girl might get married, so might another, no doubt she thought; and it is conceivable that from this mental statement of a rational abstract possibility her thoughts may have passed on to consideration of the concrete possibilities involved in her own relations with the good-looking Gustav Strauss, son of the rich bird-dealer, or with the good-looking ...
— An Idyl Of The East Side - 1891 • Thomas A. Janvier

... Gorkha, I might altogether refer on the subject to Colonel Kirkpatrick’s account, contained in his eighth chapter; but for the sake of connection, and in order to communicate my opinions on the subject, I shall here give an abstract of Colonel Kirkpatrick’s account, referring to ...
— An Account of The Kingdom of Nepal • Fancis Buchanan Hamilton

... their adversaries, or endeavored by like arts to expose that fanatical spirit by which it appears the reformers were frequently actuated. Perhaps the people were not disposed to relish a jest on that side: perhaps the greater simplicity and the more spiritual abstract worship of the Protestants gave less hold to ridicule, which is commonly founded on sensible representations. It was, therefore, a very agreeable concession which the king made to the Catholic party, to suppress entirely these ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part C. - From Henry VII. to Mary • David Hume

... was superintendent of schools in Mitchell County. She was nominated by a convention in opposition to a Mr. Brown. When the vote was taken, lo! there was a tie. Mr. Brown offered to yield through courtesy, but she declined; so they drew lots and Miss Addington was the victor. She once made an abstract of titles of all the lands in the county where she lived, and had received an appointment to office from the Governor of the State, who requested the paper to be made out "L." instead of Laura Addington. He said it was enough ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... the Mensheviki, and Social Revolutionists) and the Bolsheviki or revolutionary Socialists. The Cadets were the first to gain the upper hand, but were soon swept away, for they strove to satisfy the soldiers, workers and peasants with abstract, political ideals. The Mensheviki and Social Revolutionists ...
— The Red Conspiracy • Joseph J. Mereto

... Indians, distinguishing men, women, and children, and stating the tribe, will be drawn by the agent or sub-agent on the contractor, and upon these issues will be made. After the business is completed, these returns will be consolidated into an abstract, and certified by the agent or sub-agent, and the military officer, and thereupon payment will be made to the contractor. The abstracts and contracts will be the vouchers for ...
— Impressions of America - During The Years 1833, 1834, and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume II. • Tyrone Power

... absolutism, culminating in the acknowledged ascendancy of Parliament and the triumphant aristocracy of 1688, was never based on abstract principles of the rights of barons and landowners, but sprang from the positive, definite conviction that those who furnished arms and men for the king, or who paid certain moneys in taxation, were entitled ...
— The Rise of the Democracy • Joseph Clayton

... that that gentleman said was right." This is the "abstract and brief chronicle" of their woes—sometimes, indeed, the epitaph of their pedagogical career, if they are too sickened of the Sisiphean task of trying to teach grammar on insufficient basis. And this use, or abuse, of the hardworked word "that" is only an extreme case which illustrates ...
— International Language - Past, Present and Future: With Specimens of Esperanto and Grammar • Walter J. Clark

... development was one which followed very easily. These important adjectives began to be thought of as having a value and an existence in themselves, apart from the god to which they were attached. The grammatical change which accompanied this psychological movement was the transfer of the adjective into an abstract noun. Both adjectives and abstract nouns express quality, but the adjective is in a condition of dependence on a noun, while the abstract noun is independent and self-supporting. And thus, just as in ...
— The Religion of Numa - And Other Essays on the Religion of Ancient Rome • Jesse Benedict Carter

... replied dryly. "I supposed it was worse. Narrower, I mean. Didn't know you ever bothered yourself with abstract philosophy." ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... adorned the virginal bosom with breasts and who made the thighs of women anvils for the spear handles of men!" To the same amiable theologian are also ascribed the "Kitab Nawazir al-Ayk fi al-Nayk" Green Splendours of the Copse in Copulation, an abstract of the "Kitab al-Wishah fi fawaid al-Nikah" Book of the Zone on Coition-boon. Of the abundance of pornographic literature we may judge from a list of the following seven works given in the second page of the "Kitab Ruju'a al-Shaykh ila Sabah fi 'l-Kuwwat al-Bah[FN351]" ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 10 • Richard F. Burton

... "It is abstract commerce," said Claparon,—"commerce which won't be developed for ten years to come, according to Nucingen, the Napoleon of finance; commerce by which a man can grasp the totality of fractions, and ...
— Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau • Honore de Balzac

... verifications which result from an attentive examination of the past. The law consists in this—that each of our principal conceptions, each branch of our knowledge, passes successively through three different states of theory: the theologic, or fictitious; the metaphysic, or abstract; the scientific, or positive. In other terms, the human mind, by its nature, employs successively, in each of its researches, three methods of philosophizing, the character of which is essentially different, and even radically opposed; at first the theologic method, then the metaphysical, and last ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX. - March, 1843, Vol. LIII. • Various

... create realities out of the fogs of metaphysics, and to span the concrete and the abstract with a bridge such as Milton threw across space. This man can spend hours in pursuit of 'volitions' with all the excitement of the chamois-hunt. Now his eye brightens, for he has transfixed an idea, and holds it up in all the nicety of artistic touch, while he dissects ...
— Continental Monthly - Volume 1 - Issue 3 • Various

... number of applications of calculation to the movements of the heavenly bodies, or to the physics of terrestrial bodies, and in general in the problems which lead to equations of a high degree. As soon as he wishes to quit the domain of abstract relations, the calculator has occasion to employ the roots of these equations; thus the art of discovering them by the aid of an uniform method, either exactly or by approximation, did not fail at an early period to excite the ...
— Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men • Francois Arago

... no compromise! What's your opinion, Mr Peak, on the abstract question? Is a popular paper likely, or not, to be damaged in its circulation by improvement of style and tone—within the limits ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... bint-Muhammed; yet that does not strike me as a valid reason for eliding the final h, which among other uses, is indicative of the feminine gender, as in Ftimah, Khadijah, Aminah, etc.; also of the nomina vicis, of many abstract nouns, nouns of multitude and of quality, as well as of adjectives of intensiveness, all which important indications would be lost by dropping the final h. And further unless the vowel a, left after the ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... poem, each word and thought enhances the value of those which precede and follow it; and every syllable has a loveliness which depends not so much on its abstract sound as on its position. Look at the same word in a dictionary, and you will hardly ...
— The Crown of Wild Olive • John Ruskin

... final acquisition of her honors and rewards. Beneath, as not having obtained, though within reach of, the crown, is a young knight who vows chivalric services, and is attended by his page and his young bride. Around him, in various attitudes, other figures are introduced, to connect the abstract representation of Chivalry with its general recognition of intellectual influences; among them, the Painter, the Sculptor, and Man of Science; the Palmer from the Holy Land, and the Poet-Historian, from whom future ages must derive their knowledge of the spirit and deeds of chivalry. ...
— Home Pastimes; or Tableaux Vivants • James H. Head

... RED RACE. PAGE Natural religions the unaided attempts of man to find out God, modified by peculiarities of race and nation.—The peculiarities of the red race: 1. Its languages unfriendly to abstract ideas. Native modes of writing by means of pictures, symbols, objects, and phonetic signs. These various methods compared in their influence on the intellectual faculties. 2. Its isolation, unique in the history of the world. 3. Beyond all others, a hunting ...
— The Myths of the New World - A Treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America • Daniel G. Brinton

... prevalence in the Scriptures of analogical forms, attaching spiritual doctrines to natural objects and historic facts, has served a good purpose in the evidences and exposition of revealed religion. The more abstract terms of a language are not so distinctly apprehended as the more concrete, and in the course of ages are more liable to change. The habit, universal among the writers of the Scriptures from the most ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... possessed of abstract volition. I could not take them off. They were held by some terrible fascination; and I felt, or fancied, that the moment this should be broken, the animal ...
— The Scalp Hunters • Mayne Reid

... sonnets between directing two-thousand-pound projectiles on their errands of mashing German dugouts. He did not like gunnery where he did not see his target naval fashion, but he had done so well that he was kept at it. His latest sonnet was to an abstract girl somewhere in France which the Socialist, who was a man of critical judgment in everything and of a rollicking disposition, praised very highly and read aloud with the ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... very much difference to the machines whether there is poetry in them or not. It is a mere abstract question to the machines. ...
— The Voice of the Machines - An Introduction to the Twentieth Century • Gerald Stanley Lee

... possible to govern the country without Reform 'if the King was not against them'—an important increment of his conditions; there is no doubt that 'the King's name is a tower of strength, which they upon the adverse faction want'—and he continued through all his letters arguing the question on its abstract merits, and repeating the topic that had been over and over again urged, but without reference to the actual state of things and the means of resistance. It seems, however, pretty clear that he will oppose this Bill just as he did the last, and he will probably ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... mysterious order of women, placed above and without all considerations of the graceful or the individual, the great master was peculiarly in his element. They exactly fitted his standard, of art, not always sympathetic, nor comprehensible to the average human mind, of which the grand in form and the abstract in expression were the first and last conditions. In this respect, the sibyls on the Sistine Chapel ceiling are more Michael Angelesque than their companions the prophets. For these, while types of the highest monumental treatment, are yet men, while ...
— The Old Masters and Their Pictures - For the Use of Schools and Learners in Art • Sarah Tytler

... Majesty, I was introduced to its members. The ceremony was in charge of the Grand Chamberlain, that Phranza with whom my Lord is acquainted. Much I feared lest he should recognize me. Fortunately he is dull and philosophical, and too much given to study of things abstract and far away to be mindful of those close under his nose. Duke Notaras was there also. He conversed with me about Italy. Fortunately I knew more about the Gabour country than he—its nobles, cities, manners, and present ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 2 • Lew. Wallace

... made profound obeisance and explained the cause of their presence. The visitations of O'Iwa to the district were causing the greatest public commotion. Not as a matter of private interest, but of public utility his interference was sought. If Iemon thought to abstract a copper "cash" from the priestly treasury he made a gross mistake. Besides, the individual who disturbs the public peace suffers severely from official mediation, no matter what form this takes. Shu[u]den ...
— The Yotsuya Kwaidan or O'Iwa Inari - Tales of the Tokugawa, Volume 1 (of 2) • James S. De Benneville

... and my debts, amounting to nearly 10,000 pounds, are to be paid, then I shall go on making sublime and philosophical discoveries, and employing myself in deep, abstract studies. In that case I shall want a mason, carpenter, etc., income made out 4000 pounds a year, and 1000 pounds more for people like you, and 500 pounds ready money that I may stand clear. In the event that all that has been told me is a lie.... I shall give up everything ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... and Theodoric, Kings of Italy, as they were only lieutenants of the Eastern Caesar. Cassiodorus, however, tells us that Odoacer assumed the name of king (nomen regis Odoacer assumpsit), and though Gibbon points out that this may only mean that he assumed the abstract title of a king, without applying it to any particular nation or country, yet that great historian himself calls Odoacer, King of Italy, and shows how he was determined to abolish the useless and expensive office of vicegerent of the emperor. ...
— The Roman and the Teuton - A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge • Charles Kingsley

... But now—this vulgar fraud upon society—and upon a society we despised and laughed at—this sneaking back into a position that we've voluntarily forfeited: don't you see what a cheap compromise it is? We neither of us believe in the abstract 'sacredness' of marriage; we both know that no ceremony is needed to consecrate our love for each other; what object can we have in marrying, except the secret fear of each that the other may escape, or the secret longing to work our way back gradually—oh, very gradually—into the esteem of ...
— The Greater Inclination • Edith Wharton

... suspicions which it had aroused in his mind, and laid the whole process of his reasoning bare before his listener. His speech was picturesque, but not consciously poetic; for the Indian speaks like a child, using figures of speech, not in order to embellish, but because he lacks abstract terms and is compelled to borrow equivalents from comparisons with surrounding nature. Hayoue listened attentively; occasionally, however, he smiled. At last Okoya stopped and looked at his friend in expectation. The latter cast at ...
— The Delight Makers • Adolf Bandelier

... bands of red (hoist side), blue, and red; centered on the hoist-side red band in yellow is the national emblem ("soyombo" - a columnar arrangement of abstract and geometric representation for fire, sun, moon, earth, water, ...
— The 2001 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... The horror still accumulates. The knowledge of evil—not evil in the abstract, but evil alive, and all about him—comes darkening down upon Hamlet's being. Not only is his father an inhabitant of the nether fires, but he is there ...
— The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - A Study with the Text of the Folio of 1623 • George MacDonald

... entirely, and made her forget everything else; but she has a heart, though not much of a head, and sorrow and illness and children have brought it out, and she is what a 'very woman' becomes, I suppose, if there be any good in her, an abstract wife ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... accidental limits. No doubt this transcendental procedure will remove us for some time from the familiar circle of phenomena, and the living presence of objects, to keep us on the unproductive ground of abstract idea; but we are engaged in the search after a principle of knowledge solid enough not to be shaken by anything, and the man who does not dare to rise above reality will never ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... England this sympathy with free constitutional systems abroad was certainly a powerful force: but other motives than mere community of sentiment combined to draw the two Governments together, and in the case of France these immediate interests greatly outweighed any abstract preference for a constitutional ally. Louis Philippe had an avowed and obstinate enemy in the Czar of Russia, who had been his predecessor's friend: the Court of Vienna tolerated usurpers only where worse mischief would follow from attacking them; Prussia had no motive ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... trouble in her wards. The war moved her in simple ways; for she was patriotic in the direct fashion of her class. Her father had been a sailor, her husbands an official and a soldier; the issue for her was uncomplicated by any abstract meditation. The Country before everything! And though she had tended during those two years so many young wrecked bodies, she had taken it as all in the a day's work, lavishing her sympathy on the individual, without much general sense ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... of his travels, which he undertook, after having employed two years in the business of the forum, where he gained an early reputation. At Athens, he passed six months with Antiochus, the principal philosopher of the old academy, and, under the direction of that able master, resumed those abstract speculations which he had cultivated from his earliest youth. Nor did he neglect his rhetorical exercises. In that pursuit, he was assisted by Demetrius, the Syrian, who was allowed to be a skilful preceptor. He passed from Greece into Asia; and, in the ...
— A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, Or The Causes Of Corrupt Eloquence • Cornelius Tacitus

... very impertinent if I had ventured to give you advice. I can hardly be taxed with that presumption. We were merely discussing an abstract question,—the use of faculties accorded us, and the best mode of obtaining happiness through their employment; and you chose to apply my general ...
— Fairy Fingers - A Novel • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

... character as depicted in Poetry and Fiction, one would think it was made up of sentiment, either for good or bad—here is a specimen, and a most sensible and respectable specimen, too, whose staple ingredient is abstract reason. No Talleyrand was ever more passionless than Zoraide Reuter!" So I thought then; I found afterwards that blunt susceptibilities are very consistent with ...
— The Professor • (AKA Charlotte Bronte) Currer Bell

... Seneschal of Dauphiny, as she now gazed upon him, she beheld a very toad of a man, and the soul of her shuddered at the sight of him combining with the thing that he suggested. But her glance was steady and her lips maintained their smile, just as if that ugliness of his had been invested with some abstract beauty existing only to her gaze; a little colour crept into her cheeks, and red being the colour of love's livery, Tressan ...
— St. Martin's Summer • Rafael Sabatini

... inland, and my own experience told me that I could never hope to take a loaded dray through the dreadful country I had already traversed on horseback. What then was I to do? or how proceed for the future? The following brief abstract of the labours of the party, and the work performed by the horses in the three attempts made to get round the head of the Great Bight, may perhaps seem incredible to those who know nothing of the difficulty ...
— Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central • Edward John Eyre

... it is proved, that there is in the mind no absolute faculty of understanding, desiring, loving, &c. Whence it follows, that these and similar faculties are either entirely fictitious, or are merely abstract and general terms, such as we are accustomed to put together from particular things. Thus the intellect and the will stand in the same relation to this or that idea, or this or that volition, as "lapidity" to this or that stone, or ...
— Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata - Part I: Concerning God • Benedict de Spinoza

... the particular localities were appointed to superintend these public works; and as these commissioners were generally destitute of practical knowledge, these Parliamentary grants were usually expended without producing equivalent results. Nothing in the abstract is more reasonable than that any number of individuals should be allowed to associate themselves for the purpose of effecting some local improvement, which would be beneficial to others as well as to themselves; but nothing of this could be attempted without an Act of ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... him from this," pursued Lionel, and at the same time cursed the foul fiend that prompted him such specious words to cloak his villainy. "I would abstract him from it, and yet 'tis against my conscience that he should go unpunished for I swear to you, Master Leigh, that I abhor the deed—a cowardly, ...
— The Sea-Hawk • Raphael Sabatini

... obloquy and sneers sure to attend upon any proposal to retrace it. However, the repealing measure was proposed and carried, Shelburne supporting the ministers with all his might, though, doubting as he did even the abstract right of England to tax her colonies, he with only four other peers divided the House against them on the question of the well-known declaratory resolution. Sic vos non vobis. Though the Rockingham administration repealed the Stamp Act, it was the popular belief that Pitt had been the ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875 • Various

... wonderful feats of this kind in England too. However, I once heard a German professor say that the English boy outdid the German in gesunder Menschenverstand (sound common sense), but that the German wins in the race when it comes to the abstract knowledge (Wissen) that he and his countryfolk prize above all the treasures of the earth. No one who knows both countries can doubt for a single moment that the professor was right, and that he stated the case as fairly as it can be stated. In an ...
— Home Life in Germany • Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick

... is (he answered): it still remains for him to learn particulars—to know, that is, what things he has to do, and when and how to do them; or else, if ignorant of these details, the profit of this bailiff in the abstract may prove no greater than the doctor's who pays a most precise attention to a sick man, visiting him late and early, but what will serve to ease his patient's pains ...
— The Economist • Xenophon

... inquiry is the object of the Philosophy of Religion. This branch of study aims to pass beyond recorded facts and local adjustments in order to weigh the theoretical claims of religions, and measure their greater or less conformity with abstract truth. The formal or regulative laws of religious thought ...
— The Religious Sentiment - Its Source and Aim: A Contribution to the Science and - Philosophy of Religion • Daniel G. Brinton

... all is vacancy; I should correct the expression. To one given to day-dreaming, and fond of losing himself in reveries, a sea voyage is full of subjects for meditation: but then they are the wonders of the deep, and of the air, and rather tend to abstract the mind from worldly themes. I delighted to loll over the quarter-railing, or climb to the maintop, of a calm day, and muse for hours together on the tranquil bosom of a summer's sea; to gaze upon the piles of golden clouds ...
— Elson Grammer School Literature, Book Four. • William H. Elson and Christine Keck

... more or less indefinite notion abroad that the Bantu languages, as compared with those of Europe, are but poor and ineffective vehicles for the conveyance of abstract ideas, wherefore the capacity to form and entertain such ideas may be taken to be innately inferior in the Native brain. That the language of a people embodies, so to speak, in objective form the intellectual progress made by it is certainly true, and it will be well, therefore, ...
— The Black Man's Place in South Africa • Peter Nielsen

... dry, dipped his pen while Reuben, who had surrendered to his bail, was placed in the dock and the charge read over to him. The counsel representing the police gave an abstract of the case with the matter-of-fact air of a house-agent describing an eligible property. Then, when the plea of "not guilty" had been entered, the witnesses were called. There were only two, and when the ...
— The Red Thumb Mark • R. Austin Freeman

... plenary in the sense that they received from the Holy Spirit all the illumination and guidance which they needed to preserve them from error in the work committed to them. With regard to the degree and mode of this influence in the case of different books, it is not necessary to raise any abstract questions. That Paul might make to the Galatians a statement of his visits to Jerusalem and the discussions connected with them, Galatians, chaps. 1, 2, or might give an account of his conversion before king Agrippa, Acts, ch. ...
— Companion to the Bible • E. P. Barrows

... led us to reflect upon the most prominent characteristics of bashful young gentlemen in the abstract; and as this portable volume will be the great text-book of young ladies in all future generations, we record them here for their guidance ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... in former times, the Yakut believes in "the soul of things," and seeks for it everywhere. Every tree has a soul, every plant, every object; even his hammer, his house, his knife, and his window. But beyond these there is Ai-toen, the supreme, abstract soul of all things, the incarnation of being, which is neither good nor bad, but just is—and that suffices. Far from concerning himself with the affairs of this world, Ai-toen looks down upon them from the seventh heaven, and—leaves ...
— Modern Saints and Seers • Jean Finot

... ABSTRACT. The value of nut shells as materials for agricultural and industrial use is discussed. Problems of plant location, shell collection, processing, and hazards are considered. Applications and specifications ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 43rd Annual Meeting - Rockport, Indiana, August 25, 26 and 27, 1952 • Various

... Frenchmen it was obvious that he must approve the "simple justice" of the claim that Germany pay the entire cost of the war; Italians were convinced that he would sanction their "just" demand for the annexation of Fiume. So long as Justice remained something abstract his popularity remained secure. Could he retain it when concrete issues arose? As early as the beginning of January ebullitions of approval became less frequent. Discordant voices were audible suggesting that Wilson ...
— Woodrow Wilson and the World War - A Chronicle of Our Own Times. • Charles Seymour

... be done," cried Bob. "I will give my life to it. Everybody hates war in the abstract, but no one seems to throw himself heart and soul into a great peace crusade. Even the Peace Society is half-hearted. The cause of Peace hasn't been voiced of late years. That's it," and Bob rose to his feet excitedly; "I see my work, Nancy. ...
— All for a Scrap of Paper - A Romance of the Present War • Joseph Hocking

... painting has been in service. She has acted as a sort of handmaiden to literature, her mission being to make clear to the casual and the unlettered what the lettered had already understood and enjoyed in a more subtle and more erudite form. But to pass from the abstract to the concrete, and, so far as regards subject, to make my meaning quite clear to every one, I cannot do better than to ask my readers to recall Mr. Luke Fildes' picture of "The Doctor". No better example could be selected of a picture in which the ...
— Modern Painting • George Moore

... that Casley was to be his successor in cataloguing the MSS. which he kept with so jealous a care. The talents of the two men were very different, as the catalogue itself shows. That part of it for which Wanley was responsible contains a description and an abstract of each manuscript. Casley, whose knowledge of the age of manuscripts has never been surpassed, contented himself with fixing their dates without any reference to ...
— Studies from Court and Cloister • J.M. Stone

... could have no great objection to seeing another such battle as the one I had witnessed near Corunna between those long-established fighting-cocks, the French and English; but to look on while honest Pat and Tim were breaking one another's heads upon abstract political grounds, and English soldiery interposing with grapeshot and fixed bayonets to make them friends again, was what I had no mind for. I tried, therefore, to extricate myself forthwith from this unhappy struggle; ...
— The Lieutenant and Commander - Being Autobigraphical Sketches of His Own Career, from - Fragments of Voyages and Travels • Basil Hall

... or papers, to be delivered on the road, were matters which troubled him vaguely, but constantly—like the abstract ideas of his passengers. ...
— Over the Sliprails • Henry Lawson

... his best work in both arts. These are arranged, not in chronological order, but in a way which will lead the student from the subjects most familiar and easily understood to those which are more abstract and difficult. ...
— Michelangelo - A Collection Of Fifteen Pictures And A Portrait Of The - Master, With Introduction And Interpretation • Estelle M. Hurll

... tract, addressed to the Republican members of Parliament, is designedly homely in style, and the magnificence of Milton's diction is still further tamed down by the necessity of resorting to dictation. It is nevertheless a powerful piece of argument, in its own sphere of abstract reason unanswerable, and only questionable in that lower sphere of expediency which Milton disdained. In the following August appeared a sequel with the sarcastic title, "Considerations on the likeliest means to remove Hirelings ...
— Life of John Milton • Richard Garnett

... the character of James from his speculative principles of government; and, such is the odium they have raised against him, that this sovereign has received the execration, or the ridicule, even of those who do not belong to their party. James maintained certain abstract doctrines of the times, and had written on "The Prerogative Royal," and "The Trew Laws of Free Monarchies," as he had on witches and devils. All this verbal despotism is artfully converted into so many acts of despotism itself; and thus they contrive their dramatic exhibition of a blustering ...
— Literary Character of Men of Genius - Drawn from Their Own Feelings and Confessions • Isaac D'Israeli

... belief, divested of names and titles and technicalities and fables, seems to have resembled, in this respect, the religion of the Persians,—the eternal conflict between good and evil. The esoteric doctrines of the priests initiated into the higher mysteries probably were the primeval truths, too abstract for the ignorant and sensual people to comprehend, and which were represented to them in visible forms that appealed to their senses, and which ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume II • John Lord

... trick." He was busy working out a problem which no one but himself could solve. He was only half conscious of his surroundings; he was moving in a kind of detached world of his own, where the warders and the Sheriff and those who followed were almost abstract and unreal figures. He was living with a past which had been everlasting distant, and had now become a vivid and buffeting present. He returned no answers to the questions addressed to him, and would not talk, save when for a little while they dismounted from their ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... In abstract form and colour—that is, form and colour unconnected with natural appearances—there is an emotional power, such as there is in music, the sounds of which have no direct connection with anything in nature, ...
— The Practice and Science Of Drawing • Harold Speed

... time in getting their newly acquired property into working order. On the 6th May the late king's conveyance was read before the Court of Aldermen, and thereupon a committee, of which Sir Martin Bowes was a prominent member, was deputed to make an abstract of the yearly revenues and charges of the house of the Grey Friars and hospital of little Saint Bartholomew, and to report thereon to the court with as much speed as possible.(1260) From a purely monetary point of view the City had made a bad bargain, ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume I • Reginald R. Sharpe

... as nature, is not capable of serving of God: no, not nature where grace dwells, as considered abstract from that grace that dwells in it. Nothing can be done aright without grace, I mean no part nor piece of gospel-duty. 'Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably.' Nature, managed by grace, seasoned with grace, and ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... be seen only by spiritual eyes. The natural vision cannot see past the natural realm. And spiritual realities will never be stepped out upon until they are seen. For faith is not an abstract and aimless emotion. It requires an object that can be seen, and one ...
— The Church, the Schools and Evolution • J. E. (Judson Eber) Conant

... of the Sanskrit book of fables, the Pantschatantra, affords such a remarkable testimony to the Indian belief in metempsychosis, that I am tempted to give it in abstract. ...
— The Book of Were-Wolves • Sabine Baring-Gould

... sacrifice, surely, my dear Geraldine. We'll play chess every night, if you like. I don't care much for the game in the abstract, I admit; but I am never tired of admiring your judicious play, or the exquisite ...
— The Lovels of Arden • M. E. Braddon

... women whose perfection of costume and appearance no external accident disturbs. Her dress had the look of being moulded on her light little figure; her hair was like brown satin, smooth as a mirror and reflecting the light. She did not possess the large grace of abstract beauty. There was nothing statuesque, nothing majestic, about her, but a kind of mild perfection, a fitness and harmony which called forth the approval of the more serious-minded portion of humanity as well as the admiration of the younger and ...
— A Country Gentleman and his Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... inherent weakness and emptiness of human nature, which renders it impossible for even the most perfect to do anything that is not defective. All this is very charitable, to say the least, as well as a little abstract. Time has given a strange humility and forgivingness to the woman who broke with her dearest friend, the unfortunate Duc de Montmorency, because he presumed to lift his eyes to the Queen, saying that she "could not receive pleasantly the regards which she had to share with the greatest ...
— The Women of the French Salons • Amelia Gere Mason

... questions, and can observe carefully the processes through which the mind passes, will notice that there is constantly going on a re-adjustment, so to speak, of our ethical opinions, whether we are reviewing abstract questions of morality or the specific acts of ourselves or others. We at one time think ourselves or others more, and, at another time, less blameable for the self-same acts, or we come to regard some particular class of acts in a different light from what we used ...
— Progressive Morality - An Essay in Ethics • Thomas Fowler

... sweltering sunshine. The green pathway of the road wound steeply upward. As we went, our little schoolboy guide a little ahead of us, Father Simeon had his portfolio in his hand, and named the trees for me, and read aloud from his notes the abstract of their virtues. Presently the road, mounting, showed us the vale of Hatiheu, on a larger scale; and the priest, with occasional reference to our guide, pointed out the boundaries and told me the names of the larger tribes that lived at perpetual war in the old days: ...
— In the South Seas • Robert Louis Stevenson

... of the facts can be visualized. This carries with it that we often do not act until it is very late. Our gifts enable us to move with energy, if not always with precision. To predict what we will do in a given case is not easy for a foreigner. It is not easy even for ourselves. We have few abstract principles, and reliable induction from our past is not easy. We are often guided by what Mr. Justice Wendell Holmes has called "the intuition more subtle than any particular major premise." Nor is help to be derived from any study of our general outlook on ...
— Before the War • Viscount Richard Burton Haldane

... and opened his mouth to speak. But his knees grew weak and he quivered all over like one who beholds the god. The abstract nebulous romance of his pilgrimage had been crystallized, in a flash, into the concrete. ...
— The Fortunate Youth • William J. Locke

... married (May, 1840) a young Welsh lady, Miss Catherine Ann Williams. In Parliament Cobden was instantly successful. His early speeches produced that singular and profound effect which is perceived in English deliberative assemblies when a speaker leaves party recriminations, abstract argument, and commonplaces of sentiment, in order to inform his hearers of telling facts in the condition of ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol X • Various

... The savage theologians assert no beginning for such beings (as a rule), and no end, except where Unkulunkulu is by some Zulus thought to be dead, and where the Wiraijuris declare that their Darumulun (not supreme) was 'destroyed' by Baiame. I do not wish to credit savages with thoughts more abstract than they possess. But that their thought can be abstract is proved, even in the case of the absolutely 'primitive Arunta,' by their myth of the Ungambikula, 'a word which means "out of nothing," or "self-existing,"' ...
— The Making of Religion • Andrew Lang

... Compensations and Advantages; its positive value, in fact, in the larger sense, in the development of human society on the planet; then its destiny to give way in our advancing civilization to the higher doctrine of abstract rights and individual culture through intellectual means; and again, the insufficiency of the latter doctrine, when taken for the whole truth; and finally, to show how, by the intervention of the science of ...
— Continental Monthly , Vol V. Issue III. March, 1864 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... question of actuality in Italy that it is in England," his Eminence replied; "but in the abstract, and other things equal, my attitude would of course ...
— The Cardinal's Snuff-Box • Henry Harland

... sense. Imagine, then, how much more so in the case of a woman like Alice Oke; and if the pencil and brush, imitating each line and tint, can't succeed, how is it possible to give even the vaguest notion with mere wretched words—words possessing only a wretched abstract meaning, an impotent conventional association? To make a long story short, Mrs. Oke of Okehurst was, in my opinion, to the highest degree exquisite and strange,—an exotic creature, whose charm you can no more describe than you could bring ...
— Hauntings • Vernon Lee

... detachment the child shows at a certain point from the aids to arithmetical calculation; at a certain stage of maturity he desires to "reason in the abstract" and make "abstract calculations with numbers," as if obeying an internal impulse which seeks to liberate the soul from every material bond and at the same time to effect an economy of time. Hereupon we see children of eight years old become ...
— Spontaneous Activity in Education • Maria Montessori

... Morton, looking after him; "in some moods of my mind, how dangerous would be the society of such a companion! If I am unmoved by his zeal for abstract doctrines of faith, or rather for a peculiar mode of worship, (such was the purport of his reflections,) can I be a man, and a Scotchman, and look with indifference on that persecution which has made wise men mad? Was not the cause of freedom, civil and religious, ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... believe, actually calls her fundamental law the Frame of Government. We picture political institutions as mechanically constructed contrivances within which the nation's life is contained and compelled to approximate some abstract idea of justice or liberty. These frames have very little elasticity, and we take it as an historical commonplace that sooner or later a revolution must come to burst the frame apart. Then a new ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... abstract cause, once very fruitful indeed, but now sadly gone in decay, except perhaps in specialist society. As an example, let there be one who is gibing genially at some topic or other, at Japanese king-crabs, or the inductive process, or any other topic which cannot possibly affect you one ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... its charm from its adaptability. It was a different face to each speaker: now kindling with irony, now gently maternal, now charged with abstract meditation—and few paused to reflect that, in each case, it was merely the mirror held up to some one else's ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... his system, that human progress depends on the success with which the laws of phenomena are investigated and the extent to which a knowledge of them is diffused, overlooks the essential element of movement, which is not abstract knowledge, but vital force. Men and nations move in virtue of their passionate, moral, and spiritual forces, and these determine the character of their intellectual development and expression. A nation which knew all the laws of phenomena, but which was utterly ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 46, August, 1861 • Various

... twenty-seven days, was the sharer of my joys and sorrows, and the prop of my earthly existence, is a more delicate task. In a few words I could sum up his life and character, for there was nothing extraordinary in it, excepting extraordinary goodness; but, then, how could my dear children, from a few abstract ideas thrown hastily together, see the path he trod, in all its windings, compare it with that of others, and with their own, and learn the lessons it teaches? I do not mean by "extraordinary goodness" that your grandfather had no faults—that he never ...
— A Biographical Sketch of the Life and Character of Joseph Charless - In a Series of Letters to his Grandchildren • Charlotte Taylor Blow Charless

... her way back to virtue. His words had lingered in her heart with a sort of call to heaven, like distant Sabbath bells, although in her despair she had turned away from his voice. He was the only one who had spoken to her kindly. The murder, shocking though it was, was an absent, abstract thing, on which her thoughts could not, and would not dwell: all that was present in her mind was Jem's danger, ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... comprises statutes, constitutional provisions,[1585] municipal ordinances,[1586] and administrative regulations having the force and operation of statutes.[1587] How is it as to judicial decisions? Not only does the abstract principle of the separation of powers forbid the idea that the courts "make" law, but the word "pass" in the above clause seems to confine it to the formal and acknowledged methods of exercise of the ...
— The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation • Edward Corwin

... the less abstract topic of the bloomers, I often tease Luccia and Irene about them, seeking for further information as to why they ever came to retrograde from a position so heroically taken, one of such serious import to human progress, and to condescend once more to don ...
— Vanishing Roads and Other Essays • Richard Le Gallienne

... in deeper ethics, it did not extend to the surface of things by which men live. It explained; but did it excuse, especially in the eye of abstract ethics? Had not these men broken the law, and is not the upholding of the law important in its moral effect on ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... a comfortable look, in fact a home-like look, though the furniture was of a humble sort and not over abundant, and the knickknacks and things that go to adorn a living-room not plenty and not costly. But there were natural flowers, and there was an abstract and unclassifiable something about the place which betrayed the presence in the house of somebody with a happy taste ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... opinions on the subject of speechification, and hold that there is, everywhere, a vast amount too much of it. A sense of absurdity would be so strong upon me, if I got up at Birmingham to make a flourish on the advantages of education in the abstract for all sorts and conditions of men, that I should inevitably check myself and present a surprising incarnation of the soul of wit. But if I could interest myself in the practical usefulness of the ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 2 (of 3), 1857-1870 • Charles Dickens

... criticize the divine ordination of the seasons. His business was with men as they were, not with man as he ought to be,—with the human soul as it is shaped or twisted into character by the complex experience of life, not in its abstract essence, as something to be saved or lost. During the first half of the seventeenth century, the centre of intellectual interest was rather in the other world than in this, rather in the region of thought and principle and conscience ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, Issue 15, January, 1859 • Various

... injustice or depravity, rubbing elbows with us on this solid Earth, how strange would it have been in that Kantean haze-world, and how infinitely cheering amid its vacant air-castles and dim-melting ghosts and shadows! None such ever came. His life had been an abstract thinking and dreaming, idealistic, passed amid the ghosts of defunct bodies and of unborn ones. The moaning singsong of that theosophico-metaphysical monotony left on you, at last, ...
— The Life of John Sterling • Thomas Carlyle

... In the abstract it may seem rather a pleasant occupation for a married couple to reckon up a million of money as their joint property; but, in this concrete instance, to spend the wedding-night in a study, making pecuniary computation, is the pinnacle ...
— Dr. Dumany's Wife • Mr Jkai

... the terrible significance of what they beheld. In the abstract, a life-and-death struggle meant little enough to them. Witnessing it, however, violently stirred their deepest emotions. They hated the camp boss, the libertine, drunkard, bully, Arden Laval, who only held his position by reason of his fighting ...
— The Man in the Twilight • Ridgwell Cullum

... method as contrasted with the legal and personal methods above and later described, because it is impersonal and reducible to a rule of value. Distribution under competition is made, not with reference to abstract ethical principles or to personal affection, but to the value of the product. Each worker strives to do what will bring him the largest return, and the price others pay expresses their estimates of the service in that market. Each seeking his own interest is ...
— Modern Economic Problems - Economics Vol. II • Frank Albert Fetter

... Distinguished Advocate of Republican Institutions, without removing his eyes from the horizon, "you wander away into the strangest irrelevancies! I spoke of Kings in the abstract." ...
— Fantastic Fables • Ambrose Bierce

... amusement than any chance combination of events. But I should be afraid to say how much his pride in the character of the stranger's sorrows, as proof of the correctness of his theory, prevailed with the contributor to ask him to come in and sit down; though I hope that some abstract impulse of humanity, some compassionate and unselfish care for the man's misfortunes as misfortunes, was not wholly wanting. Indeed, the helpless simplicity with which he had confided his case might have touched a harder ...
— Modern Prose And Poetry; For Secondary Schools - Edited With Notes, Study Helps, And Reading Lists • Various

... hard to find. It seems as if her soul was flooded with light and filled with music that had found entrance to it through avenues closed to other mortals. It is hard to understand how she has learned to deal with abstract ideas, and so far to supplement the blanks left by the senses of sight and hearing that one would hardly think of her as wanting in any human faculty. Remember Milton's pathetic picture of himself, suffering from only one of poor little ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... reports on his tests, didn't you? It works, all right. We've got more than just abstract data, now. We've got films for the telescreenings all ...
— This Crowded Earth • Robert Bloch

... some notion of the mischief done to British commerce in India, by ships from Mauritius, an abstract of all the captures made in the first sixteen months of the war, so far as they came to our knowledge in the Garden Prison, is subjoined. There are probably several omissions; and the supposed values annexed to them are the ...
— A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 2 • Matthew Flinders

... impossible to mention a name which any advantageous distinction has made eminent, but some latent animosity will burst out. The wealthy trader, however he may abstract himself from publick affairs, will never want those who hint, with Shylock, that ships are but boards. The beauty, adorned only with the unambitious graces of innocence and modesty, provokes, whenever she appears, a thousand murmurs of detraction. ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson - Volume IV [The Rambler and The Adventurer] • Samuel Johnson

... dispositions). 6. Yamaka (the pairs, that is, of ethical states). 7. Patthana (evolution of ethical states). These have now been published by the Pah Text Society. The first has been translated into English, and an abstract of the third has been published. The approximate date of these works is probably from about 400 B.C. to about 250 B.C., the first being the oldest and the third the latest of the seven. Before the publication ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... and the Italian opera composers that the voice was degraded to the function of a mere inarticulate instrument; and it remained for Wagner, following the precedence of Gluck, to restore it to its rank as the inseparable companion of poetry. And what led him to do this was not abstract reflection but artistic instinct and experience. He does not even claim the honor of having originated the true vocal style, but confesses with pride that it was a woman, Frau Schroeder-Devrient, who ...
— Chopin and Other Musical Essays • Henry T. Finck



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