A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [ab-stroos]
    • /æbˈstrus/
    • /æbˈstruːs/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [ab-stroos]
    • /æbˈstrus/

Definitions of abstruse word

  • adjective abstruse You can describe something as abstruse if you find it difficult to understand, especially when you think it could be explained more simply. 3
  • adjective abstruse not easy to understand; recondite; esoteric 3
  • adjective abstruse hard to understand because of being extremely complex, intellectually demanding, highly abstract, etc.; deep; recondite 3
  • adjective abstruse hard to understand; recondite; esoteric: abstruse theories. 1
  • adjective abstruse Obsolete. secret; hidden. 1
  • noun abstruse Difficult to understand; obscure. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of abstruse

First appearance:

before 1590
One of the 37% oldest English words
1590-1600; < Latin abstrūsus thrust away, concealed (past participle of abstrūdere), equivalent to abs- abs- + trūd- thrust + -tus past participle suffix

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Abstruse


abstruse popularity

A pretty common term. Usually people know it’s meaning, but prefer to use a more spread out synonym. About 68% of English native speakers know the meaning and use word.
This word is included in each student's vocabulary. Most likely there is at least one movie with this word in the title.

abstruse usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for abstruse

adj abstruse

  • perplexing — to cause to be puzzled or bewildered over what is not understood or certain; confuse mentally: Her strange response perplexed me.
  • abstract — An abstract idea or way of thinking is based on general ideas rather than on real things and events.
  • complex — Something that is complex has many different parts, and is therefore often difficult to understand.
  • complicated — If you say that something is complicated, you mean it has so many parts or aspects that it is difficult to understand or deal with.
  • deep — If something is deep, it extends a long way down from the ground or from the top surface of something.

adjective abstruse

  • mysterious — full of, characterized by, or involving mystery: a mysterious occurrence.
  • rarefied — extremely high or elevated; lofty; exalted: the rarefied atmosphere of a scholarly symposium.
  • technical — belonging or pertaining to an art, science, or the like: technical skill.
  • highbrow — a person of superior intellectual interests and tastes.
  • difficult — not easily or readily done; requiring much labor, skill, or planning to be performed successfully; hard: a difficult job.

Antonyms for abstruse

adj abstruse

  • obvious — easily seen, recognized, or understood; open to view or knowledge; evident: an obvious advantage.
  • clear — Something that is clear is easy to understand, see, or hear.
  • concrete — Concrete is a substance used for building which is made by mixing together cement, sand, small stones, and water.
  • easy — not hard or difficult; requiring no great labor or effort: a book that is easy to read; an easy victory.
  • lucid — easily understood; completely intelligible or comprehensible: a lucid explanation.

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See also

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