Adjective "abstruse" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Difficult to understand; obscure.
  1. 'The language is abstruse and esoteric, almost incomprehensible, the ‘discourse’ inaccessible except to the initiates.'
  2. 'Similarly astronauts, today's counterpart of the pioneer ocean-crossers of yesteryear, seem by no means youthful and tend to have doctorates in the most abstruse subjects.'
  3. 'We are talking about design and visual culture here, after all, not abstruse aspects of philosophy.'
  4. 'For you, is it a way of making philosophy, which actually often seems quite abstruse, into something more personal and practical?'
  5. 'Its abstruse style may be hard going for those who are not so prepared.'
  6. 'The popularity of the scripture in east Asia is no doubt due to its doctrinal simplicity; it makes only the two primary points listed above, and eschews discussions of abstruse philosophical matters.'
  7. 'Is the reader of this text assumed to be put off by difficult, abstruse, theory-driven contemporary art and hungry for work that claims to be more directly understood?'
  8. 'Newman's passion for abstruse matters of theology strikes Wilson as escapism or worse.'
  9. 'Josh's mind boggled in the futile effort to penetrate the abstruse complexity of an esoteric form of thinking that was altogether foreign to him.'
  10. 'The books range from abstruse scholarship to collections of jokes to model questions for the West Bengal Civil Service entry exam.'


1. hard to understand; recondite; esoteric: abstruse theories.

2. Obsolete. secret; hidden.

More examples(as adjective)

"problems can be abstruse."

"issues can be abstruse."

"discussions can be abstruse."

"titles can be abstruse."

"thoughts can be abstruse."

More examples++


Late 16th century: from Latin abstrusus ‘put away, hidden’, from abstrudere ‘conceal’, from ab- ‘from’ + trudere ‘to push’.